Notts County boss Keith Curle expects tough Cup tie
NOTTS County will be ball 55 in the draw for the third round of the FA Cup if they beat Rotherham United – but Keith Curle just wants to make sure their number's not up today!
While all the Magpies' fans are dreaming of landing a glamour tie, the Notts boss is focused purely on beating the Millers on their own turf in the second round.
He knows his side will be big favourites to win because they are 22 places above their opponents in the Football League and they are unbeaten in a club record 19 away games.
But he is not expecting an easy ride against a team challenging for promotion in League Two and says it is dangerous to start thinking about going to places like Old Trafford or the Emirates in the next round.
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"You can't think beyond the round you're in," he said.
"The focus has to be purely on us versus Rotherham.
"You can't think about where it could lead.
"The potential to get a big draw is there, but the focus has to be there on the 90 minutes in front of us.
"Everybody has got the dream that they want to go to the Emirates, Old Trafford, they want to go and play against Man City and if you get through this round who knows where it will lead – that is the excitement about it.
"But you only start thinking about the draw when you get a positive result."
Curle insists there will be no complacency from his players, who beat fellow League One side Portsmouth 2-0 at Fratton Park in the first round.
"As a group we're not like that," he added.
"As players and coaches, we're not like that.
"Nobody owes us anything and we don't take anything for granted. Everything we get we earn."
Francois Zoko and Yoann Arquin both scored against Pompey and the pair are now set to be unleashed on Rotherham.
"The preparation for Portsmouth was very good. It's a difficult place to go to, but we played well and got a great win," added Curle.
"I think it will be exactly the same at Rotherham. It will be another difficult place to go to.
"I think people are going to go there with an expectancy because of our away form and because we're a division above as well.
"People are going to think we're automatically going to get through to the next round, but I can assure you it won't be that easy. It will be a very difficult task.
"But we will go there, apply ourselves in the right way and we will be competitive.
"You could say it is a bit of a local derby too. We will have fantastic travelling support, very vocal support.
"You never know, with these games, where they will lead to so it's important we go there, mentally and physically prepared.
"They have got a boisterous manager and assistant on the sidelines, but the last couple of games we've had similar potential distractions.
"But we will make sure all our focus and concentration is about what happens on the field of play.
"I'm very focused on what I'm doing during a game, I don't get involved with other managers, I don't get involved in the sideshow so to speak.
"My focus is on us and what we're doing and how we are giving them problems.
"I used to be very confrontational when I first started out, but that has changed because I need to keep my focus as a split-second decision by me on the side of the pitch can help us win."
Notts have had an extra few days to rest before the tie, which could be a factor.
They have not played since they beat Swindon Town 1-0 on home soil in League One last Saturday, while the Millers were involved in a hard-fought 2-1 win at Accrington on Tuesday night, their leading scorer Daniel Nardiello scoring twice.
"I went to watch them on Tuesday and they are very competitive," said Curle.
"They played at a good tempo with good belief in how they play; they are organised and disciplined and I think they will have a successful season themselves in League Two.
"It will be a very hard game."