In these type of games big players perform in big games, says Margate boss Steven Watt
MARGATE manger Steven Watt says he wants his big game players to step up to the mark against Leatherhead in The FA Cup on Saturday.
Margate go into the Fourth Qualifying Round tie in 12th place in the Bostik Premier table with four wins, four draws and a couple of defeats in the league.
Sammy Moore’s Leatherhead, meanwhile, are immediately below them in the table and have also secured 16 points from 10 league games.
The two club’s met each other at Fetcham Grove on Wednesday 27 September and goals from Tom Mills and Jordan Chiedozie sealed Margate a 2-0 win.
“It will be a tough game,” said Watt.
“We played them recently and were able to come out winners on that night but I think you’ve got to put that to one side. It’s a one-off game. It’s a massive game to both clubs, it will be tight and it will be tough and hopefully we can come out winners and be in the hat on Monday.
“It’s very much a 50-50 tie, I think. We’re definitely level pegging in the league. We’ve got there in different ways. We’ve only conceded in four games in the league, keeping six clean sheets and losing two in 10, which is not a bad start.
“We know what we’re good at. We know we need to improve. The most important factor is we know what we need to do to beat Leatherhead, we’ve done it before, so we know we’ve got to do that minimum to win on Saturday.
“The previous meeting between both of us, you’ve got to throw that aside and it’s a Cup Final for both clubs and it doesn’t count for nothing.
“We’ve seen them in the flesh. Sammy Moore will be back in on Saturday and he’s a good player so we need to have one eye on Sammy. We know what we need to know on Leatherhead and we’ll prepare for the game.”
Margate have beaten East Grinstead Town (3-1), Kings Langley (1-0) and Herne Bay (2-0) and have banked £15,000 in prize money from their FA Cup winning run and there is £12,500 up for grabs at the weekend and with it a place in the First Round.
“I’ve been fortunate in the past to have a great FA Cup run,” reflected Watt, who made his debut for Premier League side Chelsea in the Third Round of the competition.
“I’ve played in the First Round on numerous occasions and also the Second Round. That’s the thing we’ve got in that dressing room, we’ve got players that have been there and done it and been in the First Round and beyond with non-league club’s and we’ve also got some younger players that have never achieved that goal so it’s a good blend to have.
“We have people who know how to approach the game and what needs to be done, calm heads on the day when it’s going to be hectic and you’ve got a great hunger in those players to achieve that.
“We all know the financial benefits it gives football club’s if you do get through this round and if you do get one of the big ties away from home it can be life changing for those club’s and we’re no different to that.”
Watt revealed his team selection will be confirmed an hour before kick-off due to players suffering from niggles and he wants his big players to perform.
“We’ve got a few knocks and niggles and there will be a few late decisions made. A few didn’t train on Monday and a few did not train tonight,” revealed Watt.
“I’m not quite sure who will be fit as of yet so it’s not much of a waiting game on a few players.”
When asked whether he misses playing, the Scot replied: “Yes, look, if I’m being honest, most games but particularly the big ones. I’d like to think myself as a big game player when I was playing. When the big games arrived I was ready to perform at my best in those type of occasions.
“In these type of games big players perform in big games. We’ve certainly got a number of them in our team and we’re asking and require them to step up to those high levels they’ve set, on Saturday.
“The boys have been fantastic this year with how they’ve gone about their business and how they’ve got results and they’re very, very difficult to beat.
“Leatherhead know they’re in for a tough game on Saturday and likewise for Margate.”
Visit Margate’s website: www.margate-fc.co.uk
Margate v Leatherhead
The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
Saturday 14th October 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hartsdown Park, Hartsdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 5QZ