Stock: Hawks out to upset high-flying Preston

Preston striker Joe Garner

Preston striker Joe Garner

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury

Early starts for Hawks and Moneys

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BRIAN STOCK has told his Hawks team-mates: You have nothing to fear.

The 32-year-old midfielder will line up against his former club on Monday night eager to cause an FA Cup upset at Westleigh Park (8pm).

The Conference South hosts head into the tie as big underdogs as they welcome a Lilywhites side sitting second in League One.

But Stock believes the very nature of cup competitions – and the Hawks’ impressive recent record – means Lee Bradbury’s side can approach the game with nothing to fear.

It is that mindset he feels can help to pose Preston problems in front of the BT Sport cameras.

Stock said: ‘We’ve played really well in recent weeks to put ourselves in a good position (fifth) in the league.

‘We’ll go into the game full of confidence and with nothing to lose.

‘As long as we don’t get nervous and we handle the occasion then we have nothing to fear.’

Stock, though, is certainly not underestimating his higher-league opponents.

Having played in a Lilywhites team beaten in the Championship play-off semi-finals by Leeds in 2006, Stock is only too aware of the stature of the club.

And in striker Joe Garner, who has scored 11 goals in 18 appearances this season, he believes the visitors have a potent goal threat that will need to be snuffed out.

He said: ‘They (Preston) are a very good side and have some very good players.

‘Joe Garner I have played against many times and you wouldn’t think it but he’s really good in the air.

‘He scores a lot of goals with his head so he is going to be a threat.’

Stock is now hoping history can repeat itself a decade on from his greatest cup giant-killing.

He said: ‘Bournemouth were in League One when we beat Blackburn in the league cup on penalties in 2004 – they were in the Premier League. Hopefully we can cause a similar upset.’

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