Oakwood boss Gilbert reckons underdog status is an advantage

Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert

Oakwood manager Mark Gilbert admitted his side are underdogs in the Southern Combination League Division 1 League Cup final at Newhaven tonight (Wednesday), but looks to profit from this.

The Oaks sit second from bottom in SCFL Division 1, however they turn their attention to the League Cup glory as they challenge top of the table Little Common.

Common hold two convincing league wins over Gilbert’s side this season, beating them 6-1 and 5-1, however the Oaks boss Gilbert is hoping this will work in their favour.

He said: “We’re massively the underdogs. We have nothing to lose and we won’t have to worry about anything as everyone expects them to win anyway, maybe they’ll be expecting to win and it can go in our favour.

“Obviously you want to go there and win but as long as the lads turn up and play well I’ll take that.

“If they go there and have a go I’ll be happy, if they go there and just don’t show up and give it a go I’ll be really disappointed.“

Despite Oakwood’s poor league form this season, Gilbert is taking confidence from the fact he has a full squad to choose from, while his opponents have lost their last two league games.

He said: “I’ve got a full squad to pick from so that makes me very confident, if we turn up and play how I know we can we could beat anyone on our day. If the boys turn up and play I’m confident, if they don’t we’ll struggle.

“Little Common are decent, top of the league, although they’ve lost their last couple of games which may help us as they may not be as confident as they have been during the year.”

The game is to be played at Newhaven FC’s Trafalgar Ground, something Gilbert believes could affect the game.

“The pitch could decide the game, it’s not a great pitch it’s bobbly, it’s hard with not much grass on it and that could be a big factor and the decider of what goes on,” Gilbert added.

“We like to play football and no matter what the pitch, we’ll do our best to get it down and play but sometimes it goes against our own doing.

“Football is a funny game, we’ve had a right terrible season, so maybe we’ll turn it around and win the cup as that’s how football works sometimes.”