Carmarthen Town manager Mark Aizlewood: Pressure on Saints ahead of Word Cup showdown
CARMARTHEN Town manager Mark Aizlewood has piled the pressure on The New Saints as the pair prepare to meet in the Word Cup final.
The Old Gold head to Latham Park in Newtown where they will face Saints in Saturday's showpiece.
Carl Darlington's side top the Welsh Premier League, eight points clear of second-placed Bangor, while Town are battling to involved in the top-half competition after the mid-season split.
They are part-time while Saints are fully professional.
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Aizlewood reckons that makes his side significant underdogs, meaning they can perform with no weight of expectation.
"We have nothing to lose on the day," said the Town boss.
"Saints are expected to beat us comfortably, especially as their players are full-time footballers who can train every day and plan their tactics accordingly.
"The fact we beat them in Oswestry last time we met is now ancient history and it does not mean the game is going to be easier for us.
"In fact, it makes the clash easier for them."
It is the first time Town have been involved in a cup final since 2007 when they beat Afan Lido 3-2 to lift the Welsh Cup.
Paul Fowler played in that game five years ago, and is set to start this weekend despite suffering a slight hamstring injury.
The Old Gold overcame Llanelli, Port Talbot and Bryntirion to reach the final.
Liam Thomas has scored four of the club's seven League Cup goals, with Julian Alsop getting the other.
Town geared up for the match with a 1-1 draw against Connah's Quay last weekend.
That left them sixth in table, with one game to go before the mid-season split.
They are a point ahead of Newtown and Connah's Quay, though the latter have played a match fewer.
"This result still gives us a good chance of finishing in the top half of the table," said Aizlewood.
"But only If we are able to beat Newtown at Richmond Park in ten days' time in the last game before the split."
Reflecting on the draw achieved after Craig Hughes cancelled out Danny Forde's opener, Aizlewood added: "After falling behind to a sloppy goal, we then proceeded to dominate with nearly 20 attempts on the opposition goal.
"When the opposition goalkeeper is proclaimed as the man of the match, you know that your team has performed well.
"Someone said to me after the match that the Newtown fixture was going to be a pressure game which we must win.
"This was said in all innocence and, while I understand the sentiments, I really felt like pointing out the achievements of the past 12 months.
"We have dragged Carmarthen Town from the depths of despair last January to a final game shootout for a top-six position and a League Cup final this weekend."