Harrow boss expects side to go for victory despite underdog status in FA Trophy

Harrow Borough will be underdogs in the FA trophy fourth round against Halifax Town, but boss Steve Baker believes his side will play with no fear.

FA Trophy fourth round action pits Steve Baker's Harrow Borough side against Halifax.
FA Trophy fourth round action pits Steve Baker's Harrow Borough side against Halifax.

By Ben Hart, Sportsbeat

Harrow Borough boss Steve Baker insists his side will play with the handbrake off when Halifax Town make the long drive south for their crunch FA Trophy fourth round tie.

Seventh-tier Harrow will be fierce underdogs against the National League side this weekend but Baker is adamant his team will play without fear.

Baker has already steered Boro to the FA Cup first round proper on two occasions since taking over as manager in 2015 – and is hoping for more cup magic this year.

“We play extremely attacking football, which is the way I coach and manage and that won’t change,” said Baker.

“We might have to tweak a couple of bits because of the opposition we're playing against, and we might have to be a little more cautious, but we will always try to win.

“I'm not really a manager that likes to try and sit in and soak up. We've got goals in us, we've got good attacking players, and we will certainly have a go against them.

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“I enjoy these games because you go into them with no pressure on you. I'd rather be at home to Halifax then away to a step four team because the pressure isn’t on you and the players, you’re expected to lose the game.

“There will be an upset somewhere, hopefully it’s us.”

Harrow booked their place in the last 32 after coming from a goal behind to triumph 2-1 over fellow step three side, Swindon Supermarine.

And Baker, who has masterminded the club's best showing in the competition for more than two decades, says he cannot take full credit for this remarkable run.

“I'd like to say it's been some tactical masterclass, but it hasn’t been at all,” he said.

“Sometimes in football you get a feeling in certain competitions that things are going right.

“You could look back at every game so far and say, ‘yes, that went for us.’ When you are on a bad run, those breaks tend to go the other way.”

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Harrow are one of more than 200 Trident League clubs financially supported by Southern League partners Pitching In, who recently launched a Volunteer Hub to advertise opportunities for members of the community to help out their local club.

And Baker hopes the Reds can repay all the selfless volunteers who help the club thrive both on and off the field with another cup upset.

“I know it means so much to people at the club to get to this stage in the cups,” added Baker.

“Financially, it's been great, especially as we exited the FA Cup in our first game.

“We see this as an opportunity to boost the profile of the club, it’ll be tough, but a great challenge for all involved.

“Hopefully, it will be another day to remember.”

Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million-pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/