Harrogate Town v Forest Green Rovers: No place for FA Cup hangover, warns Simon Weaver

Simon Weaver is determined that it is not a case of "after the Lord Mayor's show" at Wetherby Road on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 1:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 1:41 pm
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Fresh from making history by upsetting League One Portsmouth in the FA Cup at the weekend, his Harrogate Town side return to League Two action when they entertain top-of-the-table Forest Green Rovers.

Weaver's injury-hit squad left everything out on the Fratton Park pitch on Saturday, delivering a performance full of intensity and desire that ultimately earned them a 2-1 success, but resulted in some members of his team being so tired at full-time that "it took them a while to get their kit off in the changing room."

So, with a short turnaround before they embark on what is likely to be one of their toughest tests of the season, the Harrogate chief has warned that there can be no hangover from his players' exploits on the South Coast.

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"I've said to the lads that, as footballers, they are always being judged and it's always about the next game," Weaver said.

"What we did at Portsmouth was great and I'm sure a lot more people will be coming on Tuesday evening off the back of Saturday's result. They'll be turning out to support us in what I'm anticipating is going to be pretty rough weather on a freezing cold night.

"So, we've got to make sure we perform for them, repay that backing, give them something to cheer and another performance to be proud of.

"The players are always on stage. There will be even more people looking at us now, wondering what we are about after we've been to Portsmouth and beaten them. This is another big opportunity to show what we are about as a team."

Town head into Tuesday's fixture seventh in the League Two standings with 30 points to their name from 19 games, while Forest Green sit top of the pile with a tally of 40 having played one match less.

Ron Edwards' team have won 12 of those 18 outings thus far, losing just twice. They are unbeaten in seven in the league and have won their last three on the spin.

Weaver, however, is not daunted by the task of taking on a side he is certain will go on to achieve automatic promotion, and insists that Town are playing them at a good time.

"To be honest, I'm glad that we have a big game next up," he added.

"We're playing a team who have been really outstanding at our level this season, I'm absolutely certain that they will be playing League One football next year.

"So, it's another chance to test ourselves and we will go into the game full of confidence following our recent results. We are still feeling the glow from going and beating Portsmouth.

"Normally, we come in on a Monday and a draw a line under the Saturday game and start looking towards the next fixture. Obviously, all our focus is now on Forest Green but given what we achieved at the weekend, it's hard not to still be feeling the buzz - which is a big positive for us heading into what will be a big challenge against the league leaders."

Kick-off at the EnviroVent Stadium on Tuesday evening is at 7.45pm.