‘I don’t think we’ve got anything to be fearful of’ – US Portsmouth striker Todd ahead of FA Vase fifth round trip to Tavistock
Striker Andy Todd looked ahead to US Portsmouth's historic FA Vase trip to Tavistock and insisted: We're not ready to stop at the last 16 stage.
USP have enjoyed a fairytale run in the competition and now face Western League Premier Division opponents on Saturday for a place in the quarter-finals.
Even getting to the fifth round would have been beyond the wildest dreams of anyone connected with the club when they took on Wessex Premier AFC Portchester in the second qualifying round last October.
Yet, remarkably, USP have come through five rounds and Todd says the team are now setting their sights on the quarter-finals - and potentially beyond.
'It’s been a good ride,' he declared.
‘We’ve got a home tie if we get through into the quarters, maybe against Plymouth Parkway which would be nice to play in, but we’re not setting our sights at the last 16 - we want to go as far as we can.
'We played the first round game at Portchy thinking we’d get a bit of money for the club and take the gate receipts at their place. Now we’re looking to move into the quarters so it shows how far we’ve come.'
USP are bidding to overcome division higher opposition in the FA Vase for the fifth time this season.
But having already beaten four Wessex League Premier sides on the way to this stage, Todd stressed USP have nothing to fear when they face Devonions Tavistock for a place in the last eight.
Todd added: 'It’s behind closed doors so there will be no fans.
‘Lockdown has been a bit of a leveller with everyone not playing, so that brings an opportunity for us.
'I don’t think we’ve got anything to be fearful of, we’ll just play our own game and hopefully get a result.
'We've gone into every game not expected to win.
’Within the club we expect to win games but everyone from the outside looking in and on paper ... USP from step 6 and never really done anything in the Vase, there’s no pressure on us.
‘Tavistock could look at it as a side from Portsmouth at step 6 and they won’t know too much about us, so that could play into our hands.'
Todd has certainly played his part in US’s record-breaking run, scoring in wins against Portchester - his former club - Bournemouth Poppies and Brockenhurst.
He also confidently converted the first penalty in last weekend’s fourth round shoot-out win against Christchurch.
Previously, Todd banged in 31 goals when Petersfield won the 2014/15 Wessex Premier title. They obviously had a fine side, but Todd didn’t enjoy a decent Vase run that season - the Rams lost at the second qualifying stage, 1-0 to Fareham.