Geoff Butler is backing Alex Browne to be fit to lead Weymouth into FA Cup action at Chippenham Town tomorrow (3pm).
The influential Terras skipper is hoping to return for the money-spinning Second Qualifying Round tie after missing last weekend’s goalless draw against Cambridge City with a hamstring strain.
“If any other player suffered a hamstring injury,” explained Butler, “you expect him to be out for between about four to six weeks and in my mind I’d written Alex off. But he’s told me not to do that because he reckons he’ll be okay and if he says he’s fit, then he’ll definitely play. For some reason, his make-up allows him to heal that much quicker than others and he’s just not the sort of guy who throws the towel in and gives up. For a big game like this, you want your captain leading from the front and if you had to back a player to overcome the odds, it would be Alex Browne.”
With a £7,500 cheque awaiting the winners, Butler and his men are aware of how important victory is to the cash-strapped Terras.
But despite that added pressure, the manager, who celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday, is refusing to alter his pre-match preparations.
He said: “If I thought there was anything different I could do that would help, then I would have done it a long time ago. We all know how important the money is to the football club and there’s nothing we want more than to help ease the burden on the chairman and the directors. It’s a bad draw and one that neither side would have wanted and the fact that we’re away from home means we’ll be going there as underdogs. But the FA Cup is a very special competition and it gives players at our level a rare opportunity for a bit of glory and attention. Every single player is giving their all right now and I would dearly love for them to get a bit of fun out of this year’s FA Cup because they thoroughly deserve it.”
Having drawn 1-1 with the Bluebirds at Hardenhuish Park in the league earlier in the season, Butler reckons his men may well have the measure of their Wiltshire rivals.
“We certainly learned a thing or two up there and I’ve definitely got something in my mind that I want to try against them tomorrow. I don’t want to give too much away, but there could be a very significant positional change. Not too many teams have gone there and got a result this season and so we’ve definitely got nothing to fear. Confidence is not a problem either and so we’re all looking forward to the game.”
Skipper Browne and reserve goalkeeper Paul Gadsby are the only additions to the squad that was on duty against Cambridge on Saturday while striker Chris Giles has returned to Yeovil Town following a month on loan at the Wessex Stadium.