We’re certainly not scared of Corinthian-Casuals, just because they’re two levels above us, it’s The FA Cup, anything can happen, says Croydon boss Craig Davies

Friday 24th August 2018

CROYDON manager Craig Davies says his side can play with freedom during their FA Cup Preliminary Round tie at Corinthian-Casuals tomorrow.

The Trams suffered a 4-1 home defeat to AFC Croydon Athletic on Wednesday night and have slumped to second-from-bottom in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, pointless after four games.

Corinthian-Casuals play two levels higher than Croydon but have found life in the Bostik Premier tough following promotion,  second-from-bottom in the table with a point from three games.

The did, however, thrash Woking based side Westfield 5-1 in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday night to raise spirits.

Croydon’s only win of this season was to come away from league rivals Tunbridge Wells with a 3-2 replay extra-time win, after being held to a 2-2 home draw in the Extra Preliminary Round.

“We’ve got a bit of freedom on Saturday, we play Corinthian-Casuals in The FA Cup,” said Davies, whose young side are struggling so far this season.

“We sort of know their set-up and how they play and we’ll try to cope with the tactical plans to stop that but their pitch and facilities are very good so hopefully the boys will go there and embrace it and look to use the style of play that we do.

“Unfortunately, it’s not effective on our pitch but hopefully we can take it and do it at their place.

“I think we need to embrace it and go and enjoy it and see where it gets us and if we get a replay, fantastic, if we get a win, even better.”

Davies then started to swallow the FA Cup cliché book.

“We’re certainly not scared of them, just because they’re two levels above us, it’s The FA Cup, anything can happen!

“We were probably the underdogs for the Tunbridge Wells game and we came through it, considering we were 2-0 down in the first game.

“It’s the magic of The FA Cup, anybody can beat anybody on the day. League tables and form goes out of the window, so hopefully we can do something and help the club in terms of finances because we need it.”

Davies will then take his side to third-place Beckenham Town on Bank Holiday Monday (15:00).

“They’re good at this level, they win games of football and they’ve got somebody (Richard Atkins) who scores goals every season, every week,” said Davies.

“They’re a good side to test us against and see where they’re at.  The AFC Croydon Athletic game was the start of a big week and we’ve not started off as we wanted but the lads have got to embrace these games.  Beckenham is another good facility, another good pitch.  You have to take the bull by the horns a little bit and go out and show a little bit of hunger.

“We know we’re a good side when we play, it’s the other stuff, the fight, the battle, winning tackles, winning first and second balls and if we get the lads to buy into doing that a little bit more, we’re naïve, we’re young and that will come over time.”

At 29, striker Davies will only call upon himself during an emergency, but this Croydon team lack experience and knowhow to compete at this level and must bring in experienced heads to avoid a season of struggle.

He said:  “I had a couple of pre-season games.  I’ve signed registration forms but I can’t do both. I can’t come from the side and coach and manage.  I’ve got an issue with my ankle so for my point of view, If I’m needed fine. I’d prefer not to, I’ll left the young lads have a crack at it.”

Corinthian-Casuals  v  Croydon
The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 25 August 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at King Georges Field, Hook Rise South, Tolworth, Surrey KT6 7NA