Fleetwood Town skipper Nathan Pond has called on his men to beat Hereford in the FA Cup for their chairman and earn the glamour tie Andy Pilley deserves.
It is no secret that Pilley has pumped tens of millions of pounds into Fleetwood to fuel their rise from the North West Counties to League One.
One man who has been with him every step of the way has been Pond, who has been promoted six times with the club and proved he is still a key cog in the first team with a man of the match performance against Blackpool last weekend.
The 32-year-old is expected to lead Town out once again tomorrow as they return to their non-league roots by hosting Southern Premier Division side Hereford.
Pond warns that like first- round opponents Chorley, who play a level above Hereford, this non-league side will be no mugs and Town will have to be on their game if they wish to progress to the third round.
Town have never faced a Premier League side in a competitive fixture, having hosted Championship opposition in Blackpool and Bristol City on the two occasions they have reached the third round.
Pond said: “In the third round you can get one of the big boys hopefully.
“I think the chairman deserves one of the big boys, having put all of the money he has into the club. He has never really had that glamour tie.
“Hopefully he can get it this time but we are not looking too far ahead or taking Hereford lightly. They have the same pedigree as Chorley.
“We struggled against Chorley but we just got there in the end, so we won’t be underestimating them.”
That 2-1 comeback win over Chorley was Pond’s (left) last start before he returned to the side for derby day last weekend.
He had to sit out of the 4-2 defeat at Walsall after a knock but says he feels as strong as ever.
He is in his 14th season at the club and has played 478 game but says there is still room to learn.
He said: “I felt fit, I felt strong and I’ve always been ready to play.
“I keep fit when I’m not in the team, and then when I’m in the team I take my opportunities and learn.”
And Pond hopes the fans come out in force again, like they did when 5,000-plus almost sold out Highbury for the goalless derby.
Hereford set to bring 1,000 fans to the Fylde coast tomorrow and Pond said: “It is not as big an attraction as the local derby but I hope they enjoyed it last Saturday.
“Conditions were not that good but we did the best we could for them and we appreciate that support.”