MANAGER Steve Appleby says he is happy that Wisbech Town will be taking a trip into the unknown when they visit Thackley in the FA Vase on Saturday.

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The Fenmen will be hoping it isn’t grim up north when, weather permitting, they travel to Bradford for the third round clash.

Postponements have meant Appleby’s scouts have been unable to watch the Northern Counties East League side - but that doesn’t worry the Fenmen boss.

“I think when you know too much about a side you can get carried away with the hype,” he said. “When you go into the unknown, you just worry about yourself.

“I’ve spoken to a couple of people I used to play with who are involved with teams in that league. We know what to expect from them and I wouldn’t have thought there will be too many surprises.

“I’m basically expecting a very physical game up north. First and foremost, we’ve got to be prepared to work hard and match what they’ve got.

“We can’t be shy of throwing a few tackles in and we need to stand up and be counted.”

The Fenmen missed a host of chances as they were beaten 1-0 by title rivals Dereham Town at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium on Saturday.

“I don’t think the confidence has been hit but the boys are gutted about Saturday,” said Appleby.

“I disagree with all those who said we were unlucky. We were not unlucky - it was just poor play and poor finishing. That’s the brutal assessment.

“You can’t miss that many chances and call yourselves unlucky. Second half we absolutely slaughtered them. We had chance after chance and still couldn’t score.”

Wisbech are one of five Thurlow Nunn Premier Division teams who have applied for promotion to Step 4 next season. Dereham, Brantham Athletic, Haverhill Rovers and Stanway Rovers will also be vying for, what is likely to be, two promotion spots.

Appleby said: “We’ve got to win something before we can even think about these things. It’s a great chance but it’s a bridge we’ll cross when we come to it.”

Wisbech have a full squad available for Saturday’s Vase tie, with loanee keeper Tom Roberts returning from Boston Town.

Appleby said: “I want the players to demand more from each other. I would have kicked my granny to win a football match and one or two others need to think like that as well.”

Wisbech’s Red Insure Cup clash with Thetford Town, which was postponed on Tuesday due to a waterlogged pitch, will now be played this Tuesday.

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