Michael Duckworth insists he won’t be letting friend and FA Cup rival James Poole “get into my head” this week.
The Hartlepool United full-back will come face-to-face with Poole on Friday night when Pools visit Salford City in the BBC2-televised second round tie.
Salford are the team-of-the-moment, given they are part-owned by a group of Man United legends and have been the subject of a BBC documentary.
Poole is one of their stars and was man of the match when Salford dumped Notts County out of the cup in round one.
The 25-year-old made a century of appearances for Pools and remains pals with Duckworth.
“I’ve spoken to him a few times and he’s been trying to get into my head,” said Duckworth. “But I won’t let it faze me.
“Pooley did well [against Notts County] and he let me know about that as well!
“He’s a good player and he was good when he was here, we know what to expect from him.
“We need to get tight to him and don’t give him any space.”
Duckworth says he does not have an issue with coming up against a man he rates as a good friend.
And he told SportMail that Pools don’t need reminders from their formaer forward that Friday night’s match is a hard assignment.
“He’s been on to me saying they are going to put one over us and that it’s not going to be easy,” said the defender.
“We know that though, we can’t get complacent because we know what can happen in the FA Cup.
“You see one in every round when the underdogs have nothing to lose.
“It will be a big test for us.”
And what if Poole is in the direct line of fire on Duckworth’s side of the pitch at Moo Lane?
“I won’t mind that because I know what he’s going to do!” smiled the 23-year-old.
“It will be nice to play against him.
“He won’t be as fit as he used to be with him being part-time now.
“But it will be a good test and I’ll be looking forward to it.”