Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney not underestimating National League North opponents Brackley Town ahead of FA Cup tie

Hartlepool United face Brackley Town at Victoria Park this afternoon with a place in the FA Cup first round up for grabs.

Saturday, 19th October 2019, 9:00 am
Updated Saturday, 19th October 2019, 11:26 am
Hartlepool United caretaker manager, Antony Sweeney prior to the Vanarama National League match between Aldershot Town and Hartlepool United at the EBB Stadium, Aldershot on Saturday 12th October 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)
Hartlepool United caretaker manager, Antony Sweeney prior to the Vanarama National League match between Aldershot Town and Hartlepool United at the EBB Stadium, Aldershot on Saturday 12th October 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

Only 14 places separate Pools with their National League North counterparts in the football pyramid.

And Brackley have proven to be one of the more formidable sides in the sixth tier in recent years as they’ve mounted promotion challenges while also being crowned FA Trophy champions in 2018.

For his first home match in charge at Hartlepool, Sweeney has done a lot of homework on Saturday’s opponents.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We watched Brackley in their last match against Southport,” he said.

“Although they got beat, they’re a tough and competitive side who are sixth in their league currently. We’ve prepared and set up training based on how we anticipate they will play.

“The rain overnight meant it’s been a bit more classroom based but the players know what type of game to expect.

“I’ve spoken to people who I know who’ve came up against them and they’ve told me they’re not to be underestimated and that’s something we won’t do. We know what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they’re going to set-up.”

Sweeney then touched on the fact that as the higher ranked full-time side at home, there’s no excuses for Pools not to be in the hat for Monday night’s first round draw as he added: “We have to respect them but we also have to understand that we’re the higher league team and we’re at home so we will be the big favourites and we have to prove that.”