Sam Ricketts says Wrexham’s approach to the FA Cup first-round game at Weston-super-Mare will be no different to any other fixture played so far this season.
The Dragons are into the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in four seasons, with a trip to the National League South team reward for beating Harrogate in a replay in the fourth qualifying round.
The game has been moved to Sunday, with kick-off at 12.45pm, but Ricketts insists the change of date/kick-off time will not hamper Wrexham’s preparations either.
“I’m excited. It’s something new, something the club haven’t experienced for a few years, and it’s good to bring that experience back for what is the world’s greatest club competition,” Ricketts said ahead of the trip to the Somerset coast.
“We have to approach it exactly the same as if we were playing a team in the league above us; I would expect us to want to go there and expect to win the game so it’s a very similar mindset.
“You have to go there and be as professional as we are for every league game we go into. If we go there expecting to win the game, we won’t – it’s as simple as that – and the rewards are there for us to win this game and hopefully have a good cup run.
“Different competition, same preparation – that’s the way I look at it. We’re not taking anything lightly. Training won’t be any easier, it won’t be any different.
“We’ll be flat out to win this game exactly as we are for every league game. We are a club that wants to be successful and to be successful you have to win games – and this is another game for us to win.
“It’s an earlier kick-off, so the itinerary changes a little bit and your preparation changes but nothing untoward. No problems from us in terms of changing the game.
“The more successful you are, the more irregular times you play at and the more days the games are played change.”
Ricketts has also called on his players to ‘seize their opportunity’ in the competition. As with the last round, there are two extra substitutes berths available and no restriction on loan players – meaning Freddie Hinds and Scott Burgess could be in contention for a place in the match-day squad again.
And while Ricketts was tight-lipped as ever on team selection, he admitted playing in the FA Cup is an experience that could hold good memories for players – if they stay professional in the earlier rounds.
“It means an awful lot to play in the FA Cup,” he said. “You get to play against teams you wouldn’t normally do so, you get an opportunity, possibly, to play against higher division sides as well.
“From non-league, and my time there [with Telford] we got to the fourth round one year, and lost to Millwall who went on to play in the final that year  against Manchester United. You remember that cup run as a player, you remember going to Crewe of the Championship and winning 1-0 at their place and this is our opportunity to do likewise.
“What I keep stressing to the players is seize the opportunity. This is an opportunity in the FA Cup to get to the next round.
“We have to put in a performance but if you get to the next round you don’t know where you’re going to end up after that – the beauty of the FA Cup is you could end up at Man United away or Chelsea away if you do the right things in these earlier rounds.”
For more information on Sunday’s fixture, check out our match-day guide.