YORK City Knights boss James Ford reckons there might be a Challenge Cup shock at Bootham Crescent today – but not because of any hoodoo.
The Knights have beaten Rochdale four times out of four since Ford took the reins, including all three meetings last season.
The Hornets, however, went on to win promotion and they come to York (3pm) full of confidence after claiming the scalps of Bradford, Featherstone and Dewsbury in the Championship this term.
Asked if the omens might help his side flip the form book again, Ford said: “I don’t buy into any of that hoodoo stuff.
“The rugby league gods won’t be favouring us or making the ball bounce our way.
“To get bits of fortune you have to earn them. Fortune generally favours the side with momentum. You have to run hard, tackle hard, work hard off the ball and execute a good plan well.”
Ford added: “We’re massive underdogs. It’s a new (League One) team full of young players against a team doing well in the Championship. Not many will fancy our chances.
“But we will focus on our performance and on executing our plan to the best of our ability. If we do that we will give ourselves an opportunity.”
On Alan Kilshaw’s side, he said: “They’ve brought in a number of quality players and they’ve had some good results.
“Alan’s a very talented coach and he’s certainly getting the best out of Rochdale. I’m pleased for him. He talks a lot of sense about the game and he’s clearly got a good future. But come match-day, we will be doing our best to upset them and progress.”