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Baker believes Slough Town can spring a surprise against Rochdale in FA Cup second round tie

THE odds are stacked against them, but Neil Baker has warned Slough Town’s FA Cup second round opponents Rochdale to prepare for a tough game at Arbour Park this evening (Monday, 7.45pm kick-off). 

Baker and Jon Underwood have told the players to go out and play their normal game in the televised tie, and don’t want them to get caught up in the excitement and hype surrounding the game.

The game – which will be screened on BT Sport 1 after the third round draw has been made – is now a sell-out, after the last remaining tickets were snapped up by Slough fans at their FA Trophy match against Hendon on Tuesday, a tie the Rebels lost on penalties to go out of the competition.

Baker said they had their plans in place to give their League 1 rivals a rough ride.

“We’re pretty relaxed,” he said. “Our plans are in place.

“There is stuff going on at the club, with the commentary boxes going up but we’re trying to keep things low key. In reality it’s just another game of football.

“The cameras came to our game on Tuesday and interviewed myself and Jon. They also followed Matt Lench around at his work in London.

“We know that the game is being beamed around the UK, but we don’t want to build it up too much. Rochdale are a very good side, but we’re a good side in our own right too, and I believe we can spring a surprise.”

Baker added: “There are so many factors in their favour.

“But there are factors in our favour as well. We’re a good side on our 3G pitch and they’ll have to adapt to that.

“It might only be a slight advantage but we’ll take it.”

Slough will have pretty much a full-strength squad to select from on Monday, with the exception of long-term absentees Gav James and Harrison Gilkes. A couple of the others may only be fit enough for a place on the bench, but Baker is happy with what the Rebels have at their disposal and has warned Rochdale to come prepared for a difficult game.

He said: “I went to see them play and they’re a good professional side. They’re four levels higher than us, but I don’t think it’s a four level gap between ourselves and them because we’ve got many players who could play at a higher level.

“We’ll give them the utmost respect, but we also want them to know they’re going to be in a game on Monday night.”

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