Llandudno have made it to the JD Welsh Cup quarter-finals for the second time in a row and TNS are the team between them and a place in the semis.
The difficult task of defeating the six-time Welsh Cup winners was probably the toughest draw Llandudno could have got, but recent form gives optimism ahead of the knockout tie.
Mike Pearson is suspended for the tie, whilst Ben Clark can’t feature due to the terms of his contract with his parent club being TNS.
Cup tied Les Davies, Yalany Baio and Sam Dool also means they won’t be able to feature, giving assistant manager Mark Cowan little room in terms of selecting his team.
Llandudno have beaten Briton Ferry and Llangefni Town to reach this stage of the competition, whilst TNS saw off Cwmbran Celtic and Airbus.
TNS are in brilliant form themselves at the moment and have already defeated us three times this season, but assistant manager Mark Cowan hopes the side can build on the fantastic result last weekend.
“To be honest I don’t think there is ever a good time to play TNS, they’re a fantastic team with fantastic players and no one in the league likes looking at the fixture list and seeing TNS as their next opponents!”
“But hopefully after the dramatics of last week’s finish against Llanelli, and the character and spirit shown by us, it’s lit a fire in us and hopefully we can build on it.”
“A positive result against TNS at the weekend will give us a massive confidence boost ahead of some key games in the bid to stay up.” Said Mark.
The Welsh Cup offers a break from the league action, but a place in the semi-finals of the competition is huge motivation for the squad.
“In a bleak season so far, to be able to make the semi-finals for the first time in a long time offers a huge incentive for the players who will play on Saturday.” Said Mark
“TNS are in great form at the moment, I went along and watched their game against Caernarfon on Monday night and they went to the most difficult place to go in the league in my opinion and came away with a comfortable 3-0 victory.”
“They’re obviously chasing the league title and we’re desperately trying to stay in the division, so I think both teams will view this as a welcome break from the pressure of the league campaign.”
“We’ve played TNS three times this season losing all three, conceding 16 and scoring one,
so we go into the game as underdogs and the pressure is on them, so hopefully on the day we can catch them on an off day and you never know in a one off cup tie.” Said Mark.
As mentioned earlier, the team will be without six first team players, but it gives an opportunity for the rest of the squad to stake a place in the team.
“Zyaac remains a long-term injury, Mike Pearson is suspended whilst Clark is ineligible. Les Davies, Sam Dool and Yalany Baio are all cup tied so we go into one of the toughest games of the season with several key players unavailable but it is what it is and it provides an opportunity for others to step up.”
“We have every confidence in the lads that will be involved to give a good account of themselves and leave everything out there on the pitch.” Said Mark.
Like Mark said, a positive result could give a huge confidence booster for the lads in what is a pivotal part of the season.
The game is on Saturday and kicks off at 14:30 at the Giant Hospitality Stadium, get down to support the lads if you can in what promises to be a fantastic cup tie.
Welsh Cup Quarter Finals
Caernarfon Town vs Connah’s Quay Nomads
Bala Town vs Cardiff Met
Llandudno vs TNS
Barry Town vs Cambrian and Clydach
Updated 12:48 - 28 Feb 2019 by Geraint Roberts