LEE CLARK says Town have two great reasons to get past Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern final foes Carlisle United.
The Galpharm manager will send his side into first-leg action at Brunton Park tonight with the message: “The chance to play at Wembley might not come again, so don’t miss out.”
And Clark, whose team will be playing at the Cumbrian venue for the third time this season with the second leg taking place at the Galpharm on Tuesday, February 8, knows the financial implications of reaching the national stadium are huge.
“I’m not the pounds and pence man, but in conversation with the board, it’s been mentioned that if we get to Wembley, we could top £2m in income from our various cup exploits this season,” he said.
Town, of course, will discover their FA Cup fourth-round destination tomorrow, when Leeds host Arsenal in a third-round replay screened live on ITV.
But Clark’s only concern at this stage is the trip to last season’s JPT finalists Carlisle, where Town won 1-0 in the Carling Cup first round in August and drew 2-2 in a League I game on New Year’s Day.
Unbeaten in 2011, Town totted up a fourth successive win in all competitions when they overcame Walsall 4-2 in the West Midlands on Saturday.
And as Clark, whose side are second in League I, prepare for their first two-legged clash since last season’s play-off semi-final against Millwall, the boss insisted they will be going all out to win.
“If you set up with a defensive mindset, all you do is put pressure on yourselves,” he said.
“We know the tie won’t be won or lost tonight – or it certainly shouldn’t be – but we want a positive result and we are going there to attack and put them under pressure.
“They’ll be trying to do the same to us – it’s happened in both previous meetings this season and it happened last season as well – and it’s certain to be a tough match.
“We both had good results on Saturday and their win (4-0 at home to Bristol Rovers) is testament to their strength because they lost their top scorer (13-goal Gary Madine) to Sheffield Wednesday on the eve of the match but still went out and won well.
“It looks like being a real ding-dong of a match, but we’re up for the challenge and ready to give it a go.
“I’ve told the lads that the chance to play at Wembley might not come around again, so don’t give it up without a hell of a fight, and they won’t.
“We’ve treated every tie in this competition seriously, and having got this far, we don’t want to throw away the chance of making the final.”
Town have beaten Peterborough (3-2 at home), Rotherham (5-2 away) and Tranmere (2-0 away) so far while Greg Abbott’s Carlisle, who are 14th in League I, have got past Port Vale, Crewe and Sheffield Wednesday.