Gowling - We must keep focus on league

Determined defender: Josh Gowling says: “We must remember to keep our focus on regaining our place n the Football League.”  Picture:  ADRIAN HOSKINS

Determined defender: Josh Gowling says: “We must remember to keep our focus on regaining our place n the Football League.” Picture: ADRIAN HOSKINS

First published in Harriers

JOSH Gowling wants Harriers to enjoy Saturday’s trip to Sunderland – and then get back to focusing on their main aim of returning to the Football League, writes Chris Oldnall.

The experienced central defender is determined not to let the club’s FA Cup adventure affect their Skrill Premier promotion hopes, particularly after going so close last term when they were beaten in the play-offs by Wrexham.

He said: “Our goal this season is to get promoted. We don’t want to be one of those teams that has a great cup run and falls away in the league. That’s not what we want to do. We have to make sure we maintain our focus throughout the season.”

Harriers’ efforts to regain a Football League place, which they occupied from 2000 to 2005, will go on the back burner on Saturday for a cup tie which Gowling believes is a richly deserved reward for the Aggborough squad.

He said: “It’s great for the club, obviously for financial reasons, but especially for the lads who’ve put in a lot of hard work. We’ve reaped our rewards with a tie against Sunderland which is everyone’s dream.

“It’s a massive game. I haven’t played in a big stadium for a while now, so it’ll be nice to get back there and play at a decent stadium and feel the atmosphere. It’ll be electric. And if you can’t get yourself up for a game like this then you shouldn’t be playing football.

“Sunderland will probably want to concentrate on the league more than the FA Cup, so we’re going to go there with a game plan – and in the FA Cup anything can happen.

“I know we’re going to play Premier League opposition and we’re in the Conference, but the idea is to go out and win games of football.

“So, we’ll go there looking confident and with a game plan and hopefully win.

“But, as I say, the league is important for us. We do need to make that clear to everyone. The FA Cup is great and we’re doing well in it, but we’ve got to make sure we’ve got a focus on the league and keep doing that.”

Gowling, however, is delighted the fans are having a cup run to remember. He said: “I’ve had fans tweeting me and saying how proud they are of us. The fans deserve this tie, they’ve been fantastic.

“They’ve stuck with us through thick and thin and it’ll be a great day for them.”

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