York have had a great start to the season, flying high in the Conference and on a great cup run to get this far, whilst Stoke are struggling as of late. Despite the four division difference do you think the visitors have a good chance of progressing?
On paper, I'd have to say no. However, after talking to Stoke fans about your recent history in the FA Cup, and taking into account we've probably got the best giantkilling history in the country, you never know. We won't be lacking confidence, with 10 wins from the last 11 (and the only blip being a 0-0 draw in the FA Trophy when we rested a lot of the first team) - which will play a factor until Tuncay nutmegs the entire team before scoring....
The Potters are well known for a physical style but what kind of style are York likely to play?
We've always been a "footballing" side. It's been our downfall in the depths of the lower leagues when coming across teams that play longball and usually why we can get a result against teams like Crewe, yet lose at somewhere like Crawley. This season, Foyle has gutted the squad, brought in a very good balance of skill and strength, resulting in playmakers like Lawless being helped by a terrier such as Ferrell. You'll see us play the ball around on the floor - if you'll allow us - in midfield, before getting it to what is a very physical front line with Brodie and Rankine.
A big following will be coming to the Britannia, you may even outnumber the home fans. How many do you think you could have sold and do you think a few will start turning up more reguarly at Boothen Crescent?
We've always had a strong away following. We'll take a 1000 to most away games even since we dropped into the Conference for the first time in our history and we still "feel" like a league club and wince when we're called "Non League", but this game is huge given it's against a midtable Premiership side, with great fans (when you turn up) and a quality stadium. I think 4,500 is as good as we expected, more and it'd have to be someone like Man Utd etc.
Given we're one of the more "interesting" set of away fans (massive flags, flares, very vocal etc), it'll be our aim to use the lack of ticket sales by Stoke fans to turn the atmosphere into a home game, get behind our lads and intimidate the living daylights out of your "reserves" - we won't be talking party and balloons, we're coming for a battle (in a non violent way). As far as increasing home crowds at Bootham Crescent - hopefully, as they are already rising back up of late.
Are there any Stoke players you are wary of?
I thought Tuncay in your game against Villa was a different class. I'm a bit worried he'd play on Saturday as I have no idea how we'll stop him. I don't think the likes of Delap will be playing.
Who should we keep an eye out for?
Brodie is the obvious one with 25 goals this season already. Great lad, still learning his trade, but you'll be seeing him in the Premiership in a few years I reckon. Strike partner Rankine is built like a boxer, if he and Brodie work like they did on Boxing Day it'll be interesting to see how they match up against your backline. Lawless in midfield is superb and one to keep an eye on.
...and finally, a prediction?
I can't predict my club to lose, it's just not right, so I'll go with a cheeky 1-1 or 2-2, which I know would be a shock. Regardless, if we get thumped, we'll enjoy the day out and give a good account of ourselves as a club. We'll say thanks very much for the revenue boost and wish you all the best in the Premiership. It's a no lose situation for us as continuing with what appears to be a very good chance of promotion is the ultimate priority.