PLAYERS who cannot cope with the pressure of playing in a big fixture are “no good” to Sam Collins.

The York City manager issued this warning ahead of his team's FA Cup first round tie at Swindon Town on Saturday, when the Minstermen get a taste of League Two football again - and he personally locks horns with his old boss, Phil Brown.

Collins is eager to boost his club's coffers and profile with a shock victory over the former Premier League outfit, and he also wants to get one over on Brown following their time together at Hull City. To do so, he believes his team must not be intimidated.

“There’s the financial side for the club, then from a player’s point of view, I want players who have the mentality to go to Swindon and not fear it there," said Collins of his National League North team.

"We can go to our Ashtons, our Nuneatons, Southports, and that fear factor’s not there.

“But it’s still the same sized pitch (at Swindon). It still has the same lines. There might be a few more thousand fans, but if you can’t deal with that, you’re no good to me.

“I want players that can do that, that can play in front of a hostile crowd. If you can’t do that, I have a problem and I need to find people that can because we want players with mental toughness.

“It’s part of football. We do training drills every day where no one’s stood there watching. When it really matters is when you cross that white line, when you’ve got someone on your case or you’re playing against someone who’s got loads of ability.

“If you can’t deal with it, you’re no good to me.

“We need leaders, people to stand up and boost the crowd when it’s not going well for you. I want a team that has that mentality and that determination to go, ‘I can deal with this’.

“We’re not here to be mid-table Conference North. If we are, I’ll pack my bag and go home. That’s not what I want.

“I want to put a team together that everyone comes on a Saturday and a Tuesday because win, lose or draw, they’re giving it everything.”

Collins, who played for the Tigers under Brown from 2006 to 2008, added: “He has been manager at some really good clubs so I want to go there and win the game because – from my own selfish personal point of view – I want to get the better of him with the way I set my team up."

Coupled with steeliness, Collins said he also wants his team to have the “bravery to play” good football at the County Ground - but not neglect their defensive duties.

He said: “The key thing for me is that we are hard to beat. We can’t give cheap goals away.

“We’re playing better quality players and it’s going to be a hard game at a higher level in a big stadium.

“But myself and Stuart (Parnaby, assistant manager) have watched them and think there are certain areas we can exploit.

“I know Phil Brown’s style, he’s always played that way, and it’s not one of them where you’re thinking we can’t press high because they’ll play through you.

“It’s not a game where we need to go into it fearing it – we’re going there to have a right go.

“Go and play and express yourselves, don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Have that bravery to play.”