FA CUP: Hitchin boss Burke not feeling the pressure ahead of tricky tie with Maidstone

Hitchin Town FC manager Mark Burke. Picture: Danny Loo

Hitchin Town FC manager Mark Burke. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Hitchin Town boss Mark Burke believes that all the pressure will be on Maidstone United when the two sides meet in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round at the Gallagher Stadium on Saturday.

The National League South side will provide a stern test for the Canaries, but Burke isn't feeling the heat ahead of the tie.

Speaking to CometSport, he said: "We are the underdogs. We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

"The pressure will be on Maidstone to win so it's a case of we go there, work as hard as we have been, enjoy the day and with it being the FA Cup you never know what might happen."

Hitchin put together an impressive run in the cup last season, reaching the first round proper before losing to Solihull Moors.

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Burke believes that run could help his side, saying: "What it does is give us is an insight of what the experience is like.

"I certainly enjoyed it and the players that are still with us from last season certainly enjoyed it.

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"It does drive you on to get there again. We want to experience it again because it was such a great time.

"That will help, I'm not sure with confidence, but it gives us that drive to get through to the next round."

The Gallagher Stadium is well-known for its artificial playing surface, and this is something Burke is aware of.

"I haven't been there but I've done my research and got the scouting reports, and they reckon it's one of the best artificial pitches out there so it should make for a good playing surface," he said.

"If we get a bit of rain there will be a bit of zip and it should make for an entertaining game."

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