MACCLESFIELD’s players have been challenged to show their quality as they aim to pull off an FA Cup shock.
And Silkmen chairman Mark Blower has told of the excitement the trip to Fratton Park is generating for his club ahead of tomorrow’s clash.
It is a great chance for the players to go and show everybody what they are capable of.Mark Blower
John Askey’s side make the journey south tomorrow for the first-round clash which has created a buzz among the National League outfit.
Macclesfield are tucked in mid-table at present but Blower believes there is not a huge gap to bridge between that league and the fourth tier of English football.
He knows Macclesfield face a tough task but wants his side’s players to show they can punch their weight against Pompey.
Blower said: ‘The game itself, it will obviously be a tough one.
‘But we have shown on many occasions we are capable of matching the very best teams in our division and I don’t think the gap is that big between the two leagues – as seen by the way Bristol Rovers and Barnet have coped in League Two since promotion.
‘It is a great chance for the players to go and show everybody what they are capable of.
‘But win or lose it should be a day to remember for everybody.’
Macclesfield will be cheered on by around 400 fans who are making the trip down from Cheshire for the game.
That’s more than the away following for many League Two sides who have visited Fratton Park this season.
Blower thanked his club’s fans for their backing.
He said: ‘We’re all really looking forward to the Portsmouth game.
‘As soon as the draw was made it was one that excited the whole football club.
‘The response from our supporters has been superb and the team will have great support at Fratton Park, which I know John (Askey) and the players will be very appreciative of.’
Macclesfield were boosted by the return of Chris Holroyd and Paul Lewis for their last outing against Braintree. Danny Rowe is expected to recover from illness for tomorrow’s clash.
Manager Askey said: ‘Chris looked fit and he’s worked hard and I’m sure he’s glad to be back.
‘Danny Rowe has been doing well for us but he was ill. We missed Danny, being naturally left-footed.
‘We’ve got people coming back and hopefully for the rest of the season it will make us stronger when we need to be.’