Town Skipper Nathan Thompson is determined to embark on a lengthy run in the FA Cup this season and has been reflecting on his favourite memories from the competition.
“It is a funny one because over the last couple of years the FA Cup hasn’t been very good to us in the sense that we’ve been knocked out, but that is something we’ll be looking to avenge on Friday,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.
“There is one memory in particular that sticks in my family’s mind especially and that’s Louis’ (Thompson) debut at the King Power Stadium against Leicester City during the 2011/12 season.
“He was given the opportunity by Paolo Di Canio and he was only 16 at the time, so to see him run onto the pitch was a very, very proud moment for myself and a moment that will certainly remain in my family’s memory for a long, long time.”
Town take on non-league outfit Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium on Friday (7.55pm Kick-Off) and Thompson believes a run in the FA Cup could help to turn the Reds’ current league form around.
“A lot of FA Cup runs can coincide with a successful league season. Winning in the FA Cup and progressing can breed confidence amongst the group so it is important we go there and we are very professional,” he continued.
“Eastleigh will look at our form of late and think that there is scope for them to progress through to the next round, so it is important we go there with a professional cap on and get through and who knows where it can take us.
“We’ve been on runs previously where it has taken us to the Third and Fourth Rounds and it is an exciting ride for the fans.
“It is probably something the club needs at this moment in time. It has been a little bit doom and gloom of late with the recent results so we will be going there certainly looking to progress through to the Second Round.”
Finally, Thompson is expecting a real tough test from the Spitfires on Friday but is relishing the chance to show the nation what Town are capable of.
“Speaking to Lee Peacock (Eastleigh’s Head of Youth and Development), he said that they’ve got a group of experienced players, players who have played a lot of Football League games and it will be a tough test,” he added.
“They know exactly how to set-up and it is important that we start well. The recent run of results haven’t been good enough and maybe the fact that it is not a league game and that pressure is off slightly in that sense, it will be good for us and it could breed that confidence.
“Everyone aspires to play on TV and it will be the first time that I would have personally played on BBC, so it is something I’m certainly looking forward to and I know the rest of the group are too.
“It will be a challenging test and it is up to us to go there with the right frame of mind. We know it won’t be easy but if we put in a good performance and show what we’re capable of then there is no reason why we can’t be in the hat for round two.”