STANLEY boss John Coleman says Premier League money bags Fulham hold no fear for his League Two side as Accrington looks set to go FA Cup crazy tomorrow.
The Reds are expecting a full house at the Crown Ground as the current side re-write their record books - appearing in the fourth round of the prestigious competition for only the fourth time in the club’s history.
The last time was way back in 1959 and the Reds, who are set to be in the media spotlight as the lowest ranked team left in the competition, are out to cause a cup shock. And a fifth round tie would be a first for Stanley - with a whopping £90,000 prize money as well as all the TV extras if they beat Fulham tomorrow.
"We will give it our best shot," said boss Coleman, who is enjoying the highs with Stanley after the club were minutes from being wound up in November over a £308,000 tax bill.
"We are not expected to win and we know it will be difficult but the cup is about shocks so why can’t it be us?
"It’s superb for the club and there is a real buzz around it at the moment. The last time we did well in the cup was 2003 and it hasn’t been too good to me as a manager but this year it is our turn.
"I know the Fulham scouts were watching us on Tuesday when we beat Gillingham and they will know we are a hard working side who want to do their best.
"I think Fulham would be in for a shock if they underestimated us but I don’t expect them to. We just have to hope it is our day. 51 years means it has been a long wait for this club to get into the fourth round."
The Crown Ground surroundings will be a far cry from Craven Cottage’s 26,000 capacity stadium - with £8m work done on the West London ground in 2003.
Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed is worth more than £650m and he is said to have pumped £165m into the club, including record buy Andy Johnson from Everton, whose fee could rise to £13m.
Stanley’s Sean McConville is the only player who cost money in their current squad - around £5,000 from Skelmersdale.
"Our facilities will be different for them but once you get out onto the pitch it is 11 against 11 and it is immaterial really," continued the Reds boss.
"The pitch will be different to what they are used to and that could work in our favour but we just want to enjoy the day and play to our best. We just want the whole place to be rocking again."
Captain Andy Procter can’t wait to shake hands with Fulham captain Danny Murphy and get the game underway.
"It is weird when you think about it but it’s so exciting for the club. A cup run has been a long time in coming and we want to make the most of it."
And goal hero from their third round win over Gillingham, John Miles - who won the club around £100,000 with his Tuesday night winner - said: "I bet £100,000 is only a couple of weeks wages to some of Fulham’s players but it means a lot to us."
Stanley’s ‘saviour’ Ilyas Khan, who paid the majority of the tax bill in November and has put further cash into the club since, said: "People sometimes forget why football clubs are an important part of the community.
"However, events such as winning against Gillingham and then hosting Fulham will help remind us all why it’s vital that there is vibrant and healthy football club in Accrington.
"Perhaps I have a special perspective since Accrington is also my town, but the feel good factor from tomorrow will last for a while. It’s fantastic."
Stanley fan Rob Russell said: "I didn't think Fulham were that big a draw when it first came out but I’ve changed my mind. They’re a good team who play passing football, but they won’t like passing it on our pitch.
"They won’t like the fact that our crowd will be right on top of them and they certainly won’t like our changing rooms. This is Accrington and it will be a bit of a shock to some of their players."
Coleman has a fully fit squad to choose from with Luke Joyce returning from a one-match suspension and Chris Turner in contention for a start.
* THE Fulham clash is set to be covered on Radio Five Live with extended television highlights, which will boost the Reds coffers further.
* TICKETS are now on sale at the Crown Ground for tomorrow’s huge FA Cup clash with Fulham. Prices (for all areas of the ground) are: Adults: £20; Concessions (over 65s and under 16s): £10. "It would be great to see queues down Livingstone Road again," said boss John Coleman.