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Dowson: I'm always useless in the FA Cup... except for this time

Dowson: I'm always useless in the FA Cup... except for this time
© Reuters
His Woking side play top-flight Watford this weekend.

Woking manager Alan Dowson has described his cup record as "absolutely hopeless" ahead of the sold-out FA Cup clash with Premier League club Watford.

The sixth-tier Cards, who sit second in the Vanarama National League South, are the lowest ranked club in the third round of the competition.

Dowson, who guided his in-form team past Sky Bet League Two side Swindon in the last round, offered a frank assessment of his previous experience of cup runs.

"When I got interviewed for the job I came in and said, 'at my three different clubs I've got promoted but count the cup out because I'm crap at it, I'm useless, I'm absolutely minging'," said Dowson, who was appointed last May.

"I was as a player, I was as a manager, I got done first round every single time, I'm absolutely hopeless. I don't think they were too impressed actually. I probably didn't sell myself very well.

"The bottom line is I've always been useless in the cups, except for this time."

Almost 5,700 supporters will pack into Kingfield Stadium for Sunday's televised visit of the Hornets.

The capacity crowd will be Woking's highest attendance in 22 years, since they were beaten 2-1 by Coventry in a third-round replay in February 1997.

Dowson knows little about Watford's players because he does not watch top-flight football and is reliant on information from one of his assistants, Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler.

"Martin speaks very highly of their manager (Javi Gracia). I don't know the players because I don't watch Premiership football," said Dowson.

"Give us two leagues up, two leagues down, we'll tell you everything you need to know about that.

"But we don't need to watch Premiership football."

The Cards are attempting to reach the fourth round for just the second time in their history following a 1-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park in January 1991.

They go into the eagerly anticipated tie on the back of seven successive league wins.

Despite the hype Dowson, who has also managed Walton and Hersham, Kingstonian, and Hampton and Richmond Borough, insists a promotion challenge remains the priority following last season's relegation from the National League.

"The Hampton game (a 3-0 win on New Year's Day) was more important to us than the Watford game, Welwyn (on January 9) is more important to us than the Watford game," he said.

"Even if a miracle happened, we're not going to win the FA Cup.

"It's great for the money; I'm delighted for the chairman, the directors, the people on the street, but we know it's going to finish somehow.

"When that's finished we've still got to (be) winning league football and I think that's the most important thing."

Midfielder Max Kretzschmar is expected to miss out for the Cards with a hamstring problem.

Armani Little and Harvey Bradbury, signed on loan from Oxford on Friday, will not be involved.

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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