ACCRINGTON boss John Coleman would welcome the media attention from an FA Cup shock tomorrow – but admits that the money on offer from a successful cup run is a bigger bonus.
The Reds take on League One side Huddersfield Town at home in a replay of the clash in 2003 when Andy Gouck’s late wonder goal sealed a much heralded win and started the Reds’ well-publicised run to the third round.
It got Stanley back in the public eye but they bigger boost was the cash as it financed their switch to full-time status which was to lead to them becoming a league side.
And the Reds chief is hoping a similar run could provide the financial backing for Stanley - currently 10th in League Two - to make a big charge for a play-off berth and head towards League One action.
The winners of tomorrow’s tie will get £16,000 but the big incentive is getting to the third round and the possibility of Premiership opposition.
"It is always nice to win a game and beat a team from the higher league but the money is the most important thing," said Coleman.
"If we could get through it, would be a financial boost and then it could help to strengthen the squad which is a priority.
"I suppose that does put more pressure on the game but the players are put under pressure every time they go out and play."
The FA Cup is always widely anticipated but after their 2003 run - which saw Stanley on BBC1 beating Huddersfield and on Sky overcoming Bournemouth on penalties before eventually losing out to Colchester - it has been short-lived experience.
Leigh RMI, Worcester City and Mansfield have made sure the Reds have had an early exit at the first hurdle in the last three years.
"I have never had a run in the competition as a manager except that one in 2003 and it would be nice to have another one," said Coleman.
"When we played Huddersfield four years ago it was different as we were a non league side and they were the league club - in the Old Third Division - and now the gap has closed.
"Then it was a giant killing but it would be less of one now but still, if we were to win, it would put an extra spring in our step.
"It will be a great occasion. I have had Huddersfield watched and got a video of them so we will be looking how we can counteract them.
"It is not nice getting beaten in the cup as it does leave an empty feeling in your stomach especially when the next round is drawn and you are not involved. We don’t want to have that again."
The FES has not been the fortress it has been in previous seasons with the Reds losing four of their seven league games at home.
The away form has been better with the midweek 1-0 win over local rivals Morecambe a big boost for the Reds, especially going into tomorrow’s game.
"The players have set the standards now, especially in terms of work rate and commitment and we don’t want it to drop again."
"They need to be able to eke out those type of performances every time they play," continued Coleman, who was disappointed with last Saturday’s show in the 2-0 loss to Notts County.
"We have got to try and be competitive with everyone in this league. Although we are well-placed in the table it is disappointing to think of where we could have been - especially as we have lost games to both the bottom two.
"If we hadn’t we would have been catapulted further up the league and so that is frustrating."
But it is a welcome break from the league tomorrow against Andy Ritchie’s side, which has changed since the last time the Reds played them.
Then Peter Jackson was in charge and they had the likes of striker Jon Stead and ex-Stanley triallist Ian Hughes in their line-up.
Striker Andy Booth, who led the line four years ago, is still there while ex-Burnley man Frank Sinclair has been doing well for the Terriers.
The Stanley line-up has changed less with Paul Mullin, Andy Procter, Robbie Williams and Peter Cavanagh surviving from the team in 2003 which enjoyed the FA Cup win, watched by millions of viewers and 3129 at the ground.
Stanley, though, are hoping there will be another familiar face as they have invited the goal hero Gouck to be their guest of honour tomorrow.
The Reds are definitely without Rommy Boco who went to France to rest his back but he is on the road to recovery.
And broken leg victim Kenny Arthur has had his cast taken off and is now starting his rehabilitation with January still pencilled in for his return to action.
Leam Richardson is hoping to be back after a knee injury which kept him out of the last two games.
The Reds have not been prone to drawing this season - but Coleman is still optimistic even if they have to make a return trip to Yorkshire on Tuesday night for a replay.
"It is a big stadium, our form away from home is good - we have won four which is more than we won through the whole of last season - and we do seem to be better at places like that so I don’t mind," added Coleman.
* THE draw for the second round is expected to take place after Sunday’s live BBC 1 clash between Torquay and Yeovil.