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Boss Gardner wants Barking players to be inspired by FA Cup runs of non-league rivals

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 September 2019

Bedfont clear the danger against Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)

Bedfont clear the danger against Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner wants his players to be inspired by the non-league teams who have had runs in the FA Cup in the past.

Theo Fairweather-Johnson on the ball for Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)Theo Fairweather-Johnson on the ball for Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues travel to the Sadiku Stadium on Saturday to take on BetVictor Southern Premier Central outfit Kings Langley in the first qualifying round of the cup competition.

They will be hoping they can go against the odds and bag themselves £4,500 in prize money as well as a spot in the next round.

"As I said before we played Aveley, the FA Cup is not appreciated by enough of the younger generation of footballers at the moment," Gardner said.

"I think they take it for granted and probably because they believe they're going to play in the professional game which is fine to be ambitious, but at the same time enjoy what is in front of you.

"It's a massive cup and someone from non-league always go on a run in the cup every year and we all sit and watch it on TV and wish it was us.

"Players need to realise if they give that extra 15 to 20 per cent it could be them."

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The boss says his side are well prepared for the challenge and is hoping the underdogs tag can play into their favour as it did when they beat Aveley 2-1 to progress to this stage.

"We've prepared well for the FA Cup game in terms of what we expect from the opposition. We'll go into that game as underdogs but knowing it's a one-off game like we did against Aveley," added Gardner.

"Maybe that's where we play at our best, when there is no pressure on us to win the game whereas in the league we put the pressure on ourselves to try winning the games."

Gardner is also hoping his side will step up to the occasion of playing against better opposition for their own benefits, saying: "Players want to play at that level so that's what you hope for, but it can also go the other way as well.

"But we're going into the game with nothing to lose.

"The good thing is in this round now even the losers get some financial reward."

However, the former Billericay Town manager did admit his side need to start performing better in the league and feels as though they could have done with a league fixture.

"I wish we had a league game if I'm honest as we're going into the FA Cup game with a team from a higher division and I'd rather concentrate on the league."

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