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6th Dec, 2021

FOOTBALL - Ardley: Third round the aim for Moors despite daunting Wigan task

SOLIHULL Moors boss Neal Ardley admitted the club’s aim is to reach “the third round and beyond” ahead of a daunting trip to former winners Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup first round.

 

Danny Newton’s winner at Hereford in the previous round ensured Moors secured their place in the first round proper for the sixth successive season.

 

And Solihull’s reward is a trip to 2013 winners Wigan who are currently top of League One and played in the Championship as recently as the 2019/20 season.

 

Moors boss Ardley reached the third round with former club AFC Wimbledon back in 2017/18 – where they were beaten 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur.

 

The 49-year-old insists reaching the third round remains the club’s aim despite a tough task ahead of them at the DW Stadium in Lancashire.

 

Ardley said: “You’ve got to aim for the third round and beyond – there’s always good ties for a team like us in the early rounds – but there’s nothing like reaching that third round.

 

“I’ve had it before at AFC Wimbledon – there’s nothing more exciting than being in the hat on the Monday night for the third round draw – that’s the aim but we know we’ve got a momentous task ahead of us.

 

“It’s just a game to look forward to, it’s a free hit and we’re going there in good spirits and the boys can try and execute the game plan and see if we can get something from the game.”

 

Despite the task ahead of his team – Ardley is excited for the challenge as Moors aim to qualify for the second round of the competition for the fifth time in their history.

 

Ardley added: “It’s a big game at a good stadium against a team flying at the top of League One – I wanted to test myself against higher opposition but I’m not sure I quite wanted top of League One away from home.

 

“We know how tough it is going to be – they’re two levels above us and they’re at the top of that level – it’s a challenge but we’re excited.

 

“We can’t just go out there and say ‘off you go – play’ you have to try and come up with a game plan and a way of executing it – we’ll try and stop them being good at what they’re good at.

 

“I think they’ve got very good players, they know how to win games and they know how to manage games – I think that’s going to be the biggest factor in how difficult the game will be for us.”

 

Solihull travel to Wigan on Saturday, November 6 with kick-off at 3pm at the DW Stadium.

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