Cox optimistic ahead of long FA Cup replay trip

Tuffley Rovers assistant manager Rich Cox says that the mood is good in the changing room ahead of the side’s long trip to North Greenford United in the Emirates FA Cup this evening.

After a 1-1 draw on Saturday, Rovers are now faced with a cross country trek with a departure time closer to lunchtime than kick-off.

Cox told Severn Sport today that there will understandably be absences in the side for the replay, but recognises it’s the nature of the competition at this level.

“The preparation starts from 5pm on Saturday!” Cox said. “Players are ringing their bosses asking if they can leave work early so they can play and things like that.

”It is difficult, and we are missing a couple through work commitments but it is what it is and we have to get on with the job in hand.”

Tuffley made a good start in the initial encounter on Saturday, with Dom Kent blazing over the bar in an early opportunity for Rovers, before they were caught out with a Sam Olanipekun finish.

Having been the better side for the majority of the game up to that point, Cox relayed the dismay of the management team going into the break.

“We were extremely disappointed that we were 1-0 down going into half time” he said. “Although due to how many chances we created, the mood in the changing rooms was very upbeat and positive and if we could carry on with the same game plan and performance it would be a matter of time before a goal would come.”

As Tuffley pushed on for an equaliser against the wind in the second half, Jai was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

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Rovers reshuffled, bringing on Lewis Bainbridge for Kent and within moments they were level as Jake Rhodes raced clear to produce a composed finish.

The scores would remain the same for the rest of the game and it’s a replay for Rovers in a competition that would bring some much welcomed funding to the club.

But with the prize money on offer in the FA Cup, Cox adds that it brings about added pressure. However, he also goes on to say that the mood is optimistic in the changing room

“We aren’t blessed with massive financial support so we know what this money is worth to a club like ours” said Cox. “That’s why there is added pressure I suppose, and the Tuffley people behind the scenes who work tirelessly deserve it more than anyone.

“The mood is good as it is a close knit group who wants to do well. The performance from the Cleeve game and Saturdays was worlds apart so just need to carry on where we left off,” Cox added.

 

Tuffley Rovers’ FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay at North Greenford United kicks off at 19:45. Follow the live updates on the club’s Twitter account @TuffleyRoversFC