HUDDERSFIELD Town boss Andy Ritchie is no stranger to the FA Cup.
His Terriers side visit Accrington tomorrow as the road to Wembley gets underway for the League One and League Two sides.
In his playing career, striker Ritchie made the semi-final three times - once with Manchester United and twice with Oldham and was almost on the end of a huge cup upset.
As the Latics hitman, his side came close to knocking out favourites Manchester United in the semi-final in 1994 before now Blackburn boss Mark Hughes scored a late goal to equalise and force a replay which Oldham lost.
"The FA Cup has been good to me as a player. I have been in three semi-finals and, but for Mark Hughes, would have been in a final," said Ritchie.
"I remember Neil Poynton had scored for us and then, with seconds left, Hughes smashed the ball into the top corner of the net.
"If it had been anyone else, we would have madethe final.
"It was disappointing as the replay was the following Tuesday and they destroyed us 4-1. Andrei Kanchelskis hadn’t played on the Saturday and then he came and took us apart and we ended up as the bridesmaids again."
It has been less kind to him as a manager as he has never had a strong FA Cup run despite being in charge of Oldham, Barnsley and now Town.
"Every year it comes round, everyone’s aim in League One or Two is to get to the third round, get a big fish and get a bit of money in," said the Town boss.
"We are no different but we know it will be tough tomorrow."
Peter Jackson was in charge whenStanley overcame the Terriers in 2003 with striker Andy Booth and defender Nathan Clarke surviving from that team.
"They haven’t really said much about drawing Accrington again," said Ritchie.
"We just have to look on it as another game. We have done well in our last two games, we have shown what we can achieve and now we need to carry on this form to Accrington.
"Accrington will be a tough test, they’ve got a loyal, partisan crowd, but we have been very positive in all that we have done this week.
"I am sure a lot of our fans will be travelling though as it is only down the road and it should make for a good atmosphere."
Ritchie has picked out star Paul Mullin as the Reds’ main threat.
"I think if you ask anyone, they will say Paul Mullin. He has been there a lot of years but is still strong, turning in the performances and getting the goals. He is a big threat and we will have to negate that.
"They will be on a high after their win over Morecambe so it will be difficult."
The Terriers do have the relatively new surroundings of the Galpharm Stadium but Ritchie thinks they will handle the less luxurious FES.
"I have been there to watch reserve games so I know what it is all about.
"You have got to deal with things like these different grounds. That is part and parcel of the FA Cup. That is why everybody loves it."
Huddersfield have sold 700 of their 1000 allocation tomorrow while Accrington have sold almost 600 but supporters can pay on the turnstiles.