LAST year, Lincoln City used the FA Cup as a platform to get back into the Football League. Craig Harrison wants his Hartlepool United players to follow suit.

The Imps were promoted back to the Football League in May, winning the National League on the back of a memorable FA Cup run, which ended in the fifth round at Arsenal.

Pools go to Morecambe in round one this afternoon, their second game in the competition after winning at South Shields in the final preliminary round.

Loading article content

Success in the league went hand in hand with the cup for the Imps. Pools have only lost one in 13 and have been in winning form away from Victoria Park, recording five wins in their last six away games.

"I'd love to see the club elevated onto a higher stage,’’ reflected Harrison. "The club has been on a downward spiral and have come out of the Football League a few months ago.

"It would be nice to get coverage in the national media as well as the regional press.

"A win would galvanise everyone even more, keep us on that upward trajectory we are on at the moment.

"We have really good away form, we'll go there full of confidence, we are going there to win the game without a shadow of a doubt.

"The last thing we want really is a replay when we have a schedule like we have.

"We want to get through and go as far as we can.’’

He added: "I've said it from the start of the FA Cup that someone will get through from the National League, or maybe below.

"Sutton and Lincoln got through last season, why can't it be us? We'll be trying our best."

He added: “The FA Cup is about winners and we want that winning mentality here. Win the Durham Challenge Cup, we got through last week and it’s a winning mentality.

“We want that. The FA Cup put in isolation is a special one. We want to get as far as we can, with a bit of magic and a big club in the rounds to come. This is a good chance against a higher division club. We think that as a club and as a team we want to be in the Football League and be there asap – this is a chance to go and have a go and play it. ‘’

Today’s opponents are at the foot of the League Two table, with three wins all season. Pools have won three of their last four trips to the Globe Arena and are set to be backed by a healthy away following of around 800 today.

Harrison added: “The pressure is on them, but they could see this as a game to get their confidence back and I’m sure they will be seeing this as a chance to start their season.

“It’s one to look forward to and we want to be in the draw on Monday.

“Morecambe will be tough, Jim has them punching above their weight in recent years and expectation levels are there. They have had things going on off the pitch and the expectation is bottom three or four and they have exceeded that and Jim has done a fantastic job.

“It will be a tough, physical game, I know that.’’

Home boss Jim Bentley said: “It will be a tough game. Hartlepool may be in the National League now but they are a good side and in good form.

“They are still a big club with most of the squad still in place from last year when they were in our division, so we will know what to expect of them and they will know about us.

“They turned in a good display when myself and Kenny (McKenna, assistant) went to watch them.

“It’s time for the players to show what they can do. They can’t feel sorry for themselves because Hartlepool will be waiting to throw the boot in if they do.’’