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Witton Albion manager Brian Pritchard hopes his players' attitude is right for FA Cup bow at Burscough
BRIAN Pritchard has an added reason to look forward to Albion’s return to Burscough in the FA Cup tomorrow – he made his non-league debut there.
Witton’s manager was in Southport’s starting line-up for a Liverpool Senior Cup tie against the Linnets, playing in defence alongside the man who will pick the hosts’ team this weekend.
“I remember it well although I’m not sure he does,” said Pritchard, referring to Burscough boss Derek Goulding.
“I played my first game in the Conference not long after that too.”
The then defender switched in 1995 to Witton, who he guided to promotion in his maiden season at the helm last term.
Not only that, the side enjoyed its best run in the FA Cup for two decades too before a four-matches winning run was ended by Blue Square Bet Premier Barrow.
Albion were underdogs for wins against Marine and Altrincham en route to the fourth qualifying round, a role that is reversed at Victoria Park this weekend.
Pritchard said: “We’ll abuse that position at our peril.
“The situation is different, because we’ll be expected to win the tie so the players have to apply themselves in the right way. If they don’t, then we’ll be found out.
“I expect a good contest though, because Burscough try to play with the ball on the floor as much as possible.”
Goulding’s men needed extra time to end Padiham’s challenge in a reply on Wednesday, Darren Brookfield’s winner securing a 2-1 win after a stalemate in the first encounter.
Pritchard watched from the sidelines.
Witton, beaten for the first time since February in a 3-1 reverse against Chorley in midweek, will want to change their fortunes after four games without a win.
“There’s not much wrong with how we’re playing,” said Pritchard.
“We’ve not kept a clean sheet yet, but as a defender it takes off the pressure if the forwards take their chances at the other end.
“To be honest, we’re not quite where we would want at both ends of the field at the moment although a bit of luck would help too.
“We’d love a return to winning ways in the FA Cup as it would give everybody a lift and hopefully be a catalyst to pick up points in the league.”
After sending out the same side for every half since the interval on the opening day against Blyth Spartans, he hinted at making changes this weekend.
He said: “The squad will be utilised, not just to give certain individuals a breather.
“Our performances have been good, but we’ve not turned those into wins.
"For that reason it might be time to give one or two players an opportunity to remind me what they are capable of.”
To read a preview of tomorrow's game, click here: http://bit.ly/RIbMeU
To see the FA Cup first qualifying round draw inf ull, click here http://bit.ly/gMbjjC