ANDY Thorn wants Kidderminster Harriers’ FA Cup heroes to relish every moment of their David versus Goliath Fourth Round glamour tie at Sunderland.
The Aggborough outfit are set for their biggest day out in years when they tackle Gus Poyet’s Premier League big boys at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Skrill Premier Harriers are understandably underdogs against a team of multi-millionaires who play four divisions higher in the English top flight.
But Thorn is a manager steeped in the history of the world famous knockout competition.
He was part of Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’ which stunned a Liverpool side packed with European Cup winning talent to lift the cup in 1988 in one of the competition’s greatest upsets.
Two years later he played for a Crystal Palace team which held Manchester United 3-3 at the old Wembley Stadium before suffering the heartache of losing the replay 1-0.
“Wimbledon had only been in the First Division a few seasons while Liverpool had a squad packed with European Cup winners, so they were big favourites,” said Thorn.
“But we had some good players and we also had a plan which we managed to put in place.
“Football is a game about fine margins and on the day we won all those little battles.
“The FA Cup is a magical competition and we’re delighted to be involved and to have this amazing opportunity.
“Sunderland will be favourites to win. Whatever team they put out will have Premier League quality players. We will make sure we work hard to implement our plans on the pitch and do ourselves and the whole town proud.”
Despite only being in the Aggborough hot seat just over a fortnight after replacing Steve Burr, Thorn has been able to work his own cup magic over the club, overseeing a memorable 3-2 victory over League One side Peterborough United at London Road in a dramatic Third Round replay.
And the new boss sees some of the spirit which became Wimbledon’s trademark during their glory years.
“There’s a great camaraderie among the lads and we’ve wanted to keep the players a very tight group,” said the 47-year-old.
“They are a lovely bunch of guys and there’s also some very good players in the squad.”