“We can attack it”, says Dom Di Paola as his Horsham heroes host Barnsley in the FA Cup first round replay this Tuesday evening, hoping to pull off another upset.
This may well be Horsham’s biggest game in their history, following on from their heroic 3-3 draw with Barnsley at Oakwell – a seismic night for the club. Subsequently, it now means that little old Horsham will play host to League One Barnsley at the Camping World Community Stadium this Tuesday evening in front of what is set to be a record attendance of 3000 fans, a few hundred making the long trip down from Barnsley.
As the multiple cup runs continue (FA Cup, Sussex Senior Cup, FA Trophy) the fixtures pile up too and it’s only been the past day or so in which Di Paola has properly been able to focus on the tie, “It’s been a bit of a frantic week, we had a game Tuesday night and we had a game Saturday, it’s only really now we can focus on this one. We can attack it now… we’re doing a bit of training tonight so we can run through a few things with the boys so we’re in a position now and we can really focus on it.”
Horsham competes in the 7th tier of English football, the 3rd tier of non-league, so Di Paola understands that these nights don’t come around that often for a part-time club like themselves, “I’m really pleased for the boys who couldn’t bring family up on that Friday, with so few chances in your football life for you to have those nights, so the fact that we can now get as many of our friends and family into the ground… means they are able to have their FA Cup moment and that’s the best bit about it.”
Team selection is always a topic full of debate and opinion but Di Paola explained who may not feature tomorrow, “Shamir Fenelon has not played since the Barnsley game he’s got bit of a problem with his Achilles, we had to take Lee Harding out Saturday as he was struggling a little bit, Sami El-Abd is still a doubt, Jack Mazzone is on his way back… so we’ve got a few concerns but are going to survey the scene tonight after training and see where we are, with non league you’re almost counting up the bodies after games but we’ll be pretty strong.”
Di Paola had one last message for the Horsham fans ahead of tomorrow…
“Enjoy the night and embrace it, support us like you did in Barnsley as we could hear you so clearly, the support was brilliant on the night. I always feel when it’s loud that they’re driving us on and we’re a better side. I hope for friends and family that it’ll be something for you to see and be proud of.”