ON-LOAN York City striker Alex Rodman does not believe his parent club Aldershot will be distracted by the glamour of the FA Cup during tomorrow’s League Two clash at Bootham Crescent.
The Shots are due to travel to Championship club Middlesbrough in the fourth round of the world-famous competition a week tomorrow.
But Rodman, who played against Manchester United for the Hampshire club in the Carling Cup last season, reckons that last 32 tie will not affect the visitors if their match against the Minstermen avoids being frozen off.
The 25-year-old forward, who will be unable to play in the fixture under the terms of his loan agreement, said: “Aldershot have always had good cup runs.
“We went to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup last season and won at West Ham in the League Cup before being drawn against Manchester United. I keep in touch with a lot of the lads at Aldershot when I go online with the PlayStation and there’s a bit of a buzz with this run but I don’t think it will be a distraction.
“The game’s a week away still and they’ve also got to play Northampton after us next week. With the greatest respect to Middlesbrough, because they are doing well in the Championship, it’s not a stellar tie either. They’re not a Manchester United.
“With that match last season, people were looking forward to it and thinking about it weeks and weeks before. Going to Middlesbrough won’t be the same.”
Third round hat-trick hero Danny Hylton is due to be suspended for tomorrow’s scheduled contest and, although Rodman has a high opinion of his former striking partner, he also feels the Shots are well stocked in terms of alternative attacking talent despite League Two’s lowest goals-for column.
“Danny is one of the main players and I rate him,” Rodman admitted. “He works very hard and puts himself about.
“He’s a nuisance for defenders and one of those lads that you can hit balls down the channels and it will never be a lost cause with him, which is good. He can finish as well, as he showed against Rotherham in the third round, so it’s a bonus that he can’t play.
“But they’ve had some new lads come in and Dani Lopez seems to have been a big, big hit from Stevenage. He’s scored some crucial goals for them and helped them go on a reasonable run of form.
“Craig Reid is also a good player up top and, if they are playing together, they will be a strong front two. Ranks (Michael Rankine) is back there as well.”
Rodman would have been fit enough to feature in tomorrow’s game after recovering from the hamstring problem that ruled him out of last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Cheltenham.
It is an opportunity he would have relished, adding: “I would have loved to play in the game but not because I’ve got a point to prove to the manager.
“I was one of his first signings at the club and he knows what I’m about and what I can do. When I first came to York, it was to get my fitness levels up with games.
“With the injuries and problems I have had, they were not what they had been when I first signed for Aldershot so it would have been nice to show them I am fit and back to playing good football again.”
Aldershot have recently climbed out of the League Two relegation zone, winning their last three matches.
Earlier in the campaign, Holdsworth’s team lost seven matches in a row but Rodman was more surprised by the team’s sticky start rather than the current upturn in fortunes.
He said: “There were a few unlucky results before I came to York when the team were not seeing games out. Wins became draws and draws defeats.”