Harris | We want to get through to Round Four
Neil Harris set his sights on a positive run in the Emirates FA Cup as he previewed Wednesday evening’s Third Round replay at Carlisle United.
The Bluebirds came back from two behind to draw with the Cumbrians at CCS, and the City boss underlined the importance of coming out on top at Brunton Park.
“First and foremost, it’s the FA Cup and we want to get through to the next round,” he began. “We want to win the game; we want individuals to play well and the team to perform.
“To get through, we’ve got to do it the hard way, going to Carlisle on a Wednesday evening. We’re all fully aware that the attraction of a League Two team playing a Championship one is that it’s a potential banana skin.
“The lads will have to be well prepared mentally and physically as it’s an important game to us. The team I select will do that, with the leadership and quality I’ll have in the group.”
Neil went on to provide an insight into his team selection for Wednesday evening, including a positive update on the fitness of Joe Ralls.
“It will be a senior group but there’ll be an opportunity for the younger lads again,” he continued. “We’ll have to balance the team. I want to get through and I’ll pick a team accordingly.
“There are no fresh injuries as we speak. It’s a good test for players to go to Carlisle on a Wednesday night. I’ve been honest with the players – if you step up and perform then your chance will come in the main group.
“Joe [Ralls] will be back with the group and a decision will be made over whether he plays. Being Joe, he was desperate to play on Sunday, but he wasn’t quite ready.”
Harris finished by emphasising how keen he is to put in a performance for the travelling City faithful at Brunton Park.
“Last week, I was very clear on how good the week was in training,” he said. “You saw that on Sunday, although we missed the final moment, of course. We need that little kick-start in the coming four days, with Carlisle and Birmingham, to really get us going again.
“When the fans travel a long, long way to go there, it’s important that we play as well as we can.”