EAGER Town boss Peter Jackson broke off from putting strike star Pawel Abbott through his paces today to pledge: "We aren't intending to become FA Cup fall guys."
Eleven-goal top scorer Abbott, who missed Saturday's 2-1 League I win over Nottingham Forest with a groin injury, trained ahead of schedule yesterday.
And Jackson is optimistic Abbott, who turned 24 today, will be in the squad for Sunday's televised second-round tie at Worcester City.
Town fans have until noon at the Galpharm Stadium tomorrow to snap up the remaining tickets for the tie at St George's Lane (1.05), with none available on the day.
Millions more will watch the BBC transmission, which as well as this country, will be screened in the USA, India, Thailand, Russia and Malta!
Jackson accepts the neutrals will be rooting for Worcester, of the Conference North, to become only the fourth non-league side to eject Town from the FA Cup since league admission was gained in 1910 (the others being Swindon in 1912-13, Colchester in 1947-48 and Accrington Stanley two years ago).
"The BBC aren't coming to see us stroll to an easy victory, that's for sure," admitted Jackson, who reached the fifth round as a player with Newcastle (1987-88) and in his first spell as Town manager (98-99).
"This game has all the ingredients of a classic cup-tie, a tight, compact ground full to the brim, a heavy pitch and a non-league side going hell for leather to take a league scalp.
"That's why the BBC will be there, and I'm certain they would prefer to see Worcester win. We have to ensure that doesn't happen."
Town, of course, have already overcome Conference South Welling United 4-1 in round one, which was their 18th win over non-league opposition since 1910.
Jackson is confident his side are more than capable of coming through just as strongly down at Worcester - as long as their attitude is right.
"We came unstuck at Accrington a couple of seasons ago, and hopefully, we have learned from that," he said.
"We have propgressed as a team since then and Sunday provides us with a chance to show the country.
"Worcester have hit a bright patch of form (four successive wins in all competitions) and we certainly won't take them lightly.
"They will try to play some football, but they will also try to impose themselves physically, and we have to respond to that challenge."
On Abbott, Jackson added: "He returned to training a day ahead of schedule and came through well.
"I'm not going to announce my side yet, but if there are no hitches, I can say Pav will be in the travelling squad and competing for a place."
Tom Clarke will link up with the first-team squad in the Midlands after playing in tomorrow's FA Youth Cup-tie at Darlington (1.00).