No pressure on FC United of Manchester says boss ahead of Chesterfield Cup clash

Karl Marginson
Karl Marginson

FC United manager Karl Marginson is not underestimating the importance of Monday night's FA Cup first-round tie against Chesterfield at the club's new Broadhurst Park stadium.

Marginson has been with the club since it was founded by disillusioned Manchester United fans in 2005 - and led them out for their first league fixture at Leek County School Old Boys in North West Counties Division Two.

FC United's Dave Birch in action against Sheffield FC in pre-season

FC United's Dave Birch in action against Sheffield FC in pre-season

And after leading a nomadic existence on their march up the ranks, Marginson admits being rooted in their new £6.5million facility - half the funding for which was raised by fans - will bring its own set of pressures.

"I think we're quite level-headed about the fact that this season is going to be something of a fact-finding mission," said Marginson, whose side head into Monday's game on the back of six straight losses in National League North.

"It's different on all different kinds of levels - for the team after promotion last year, and operationally on match day. It is something we need to master and once we do that we can really reap the benefits of what is such a fantastic facility."

FC United pulled off a thrilling 3-2 win at neighbours Rochdale at the same stage of the competition five years ago but a repeat performance in front of the Broadhurst Park TV cameras would bring extra publicity to Marginson's side.

True to their founding principles, club officials had protested strongly over the switch to a Monday night match to accommodate BT Sport coverage, but were forced to acquiesce after the FA made it clear they had no option.

Marginson shrugged off the controversy and said his side would benefit from an extra day of training ahead of the game against opponents currently sitting 11th in the League One table and no strangers to recent FA Cup heroics themselves.

Marginson added: "There is going to be no pressure on us. Our league form has not been brilliant recently and that brings pressure into the equation, but on a night like Monday nobody is expecting us to win.

"We are very fortunate in being able to reach the first round in our first season with a new ground and to get a home draw against a league team that is shown on TV can only help add to the profile of our football club.

"We have got a broad outline of how the club is going to continue to make progress but things are very unpredictable in football.

"We have just got to make sure we don't lose sight of the fact of what this club is all about."