JASON Lee refuses to believe his Boston United side are favourites ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Kettering Town.
The Pilgrims may be a step higher than the Evo-Stik Southern League Poppies, but Lee knows the weekend’s opponents have all the ability to progress.
“We don’t like to be favourites,” said Lee after watching his underdogs end Chester FC’s unbeaten start to the Blue Square Bet North campaign on Saturday.
“Yes, we’re the higher division side and we expect to win at home.
“But they’re still a full-time club. They’ll be well organised and not have any problems with fitness.
“I’ve seen them play, and I know what John Beck’s all about.”
And it’s Beck – Kettering’s well-travelled manager – whose appearance in the away dug-out at York Street is enough to send shivers down Lee’s spine.
Throughout his playing career the Boston manager has come up against Beck’s direct sides.
And often they weren’t happy memories.
“They may be direct, but it’s a style that’s served John Beck well over the years,” Lee added.
“Unfortunately, I’ve played against his sides and you know what it’ll be.
“With me being big centre forward I had to go back and defend against his sides.
“I’d spend the majority of my games having to go back as their big defenders pushed on for throw-ins, corners, free kicks. It takes away from you going the other way.”
But despite showing his respect for Beck – who’s taken charge of clubs such as Cambridge United, Preston North End, and Lincoln City during his 22 years in management - Lee still believes his side have the ability to do a job.
He continued: “We’ll treat them with respect as John’s been in the game a lot longer than I have, and he knows what he’s doing. But there’ll be no shrinking violets in our side.
“We may be a small team physically, but we work hard and compete.”
Lee is yet to win an FA Cup match as manager, seeing his Pilgrims side draw and lose to Kidsgrove last season.
However, as a Boston player he has tasted success.
Lee was on target when Boston beat Swindon 4-1 back in a 2005 replay at York Street.
A year earlier he also netted when United won 3-2 at Hereford United.
Normal admission prices will be in operation for Saturday’s FA Cup clash – but a £2 discount will be available for season ticket holders.
Season ticket holders must purchase their tickets before 3pm on Friday, either in person at The Jakemans Stadium or by calling the ticket office on (01205) 364406.