Adam Gusterson has encouraged his Harleston Town players to embrace the tag of underdogs when they take on Great Yarmouth Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup tomorrow (1.30pm).
Gusterson’s experienced side have been in fine form in the Almary Green Anglian Combination Premier Division, winning all five of their matches and racking up a goal difference of plus 27 in the process.
Seen as one of the league’s big fishes, teams will often look to disrupt Harleston’s rhythm by adopting a defensive approach.
However, the shoe will be on the other foot tomorrow when Yarmouth, who ply their trade two steps higher up the pyramid in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, visit the Recreation Ground in the county cup.
“We are expected to win most of our league games and that brings big pressure,” said former Dereham player Gusterson.
“This will be a completely different scenario because the pressure is off.
“The lads need to enjoy it because there are no expectations. Hopefully that will be reflected in our performance.
“It is almost like a free hit for us. Yarmouth have to deal with the pressure.”
During their league outings, Gusterson has handed his four most attack-minded players a licence to roam.
It is a tactic that has paid off, with two of those options — Nathan Russell and Scott Russell — having scored 18 goals between them in a combined 13 appearances.
But with the opposition, who Gusterson watched in action against Swaffham Town on Tuesday night, likely to play on the front foot, a change of approach is in the offing.
“If we set-up how we do for league matches, there is every chance that they will end up picking us off,” he added.
“We had to change against Norwich United last year and were unlucky to lose that match.
“We will do our homework and depending on what we see from them, we will change accordingly to exploit their weaknesses.
“I am confident my lads will cope with that.”