‘There’s a real buzz around the place’

Chief executive John Croot spoke with 1866 Sport ahead of our Emirates FA Cup clash with Sky Bet Championship side West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

He covered various aspects of the tie but began by touching on his excitement for the fixture, he said: “I personally just can’t wait now, I’m excited.

“We’re buzzing for it; the whole club are looking forward to it including the non-playing staff.

“There’s a real buzz around the place and the stadium is going to be packed with fans so were certain that supporters are looking forward to it too.

“From the ticket office staff right to the players, everyone in the club is really looking forward to the game and there’s a real buzz amongst supporters and staff.

“West Brom are bringing lots of fans too so it should be a fantastic occasion for the club.”

John also touched on the financial impact the tie has had for the club, saying: “It’s good for us, there’s no doubt about that.

“The hospitality is fully sold-out and the stadium as we speak is nearly sold-out, it’s fantastic.

“Tickets have sold brilliantly; they have all season to be fair. We can’t thank the fans enough for their support – attendances have been great.

“The game helps us; it allows us to invest us back in the team and with general costs. Running a football club is probably more expensive than people can imagine, especially in the National League.

“This game just helps us going forwards and should bring in some good money, so yes, overall, it’s good for the club financially.”

John was tight lipped on his score predictions and wouldn’t say which way he thinks the tie will go, but he did add that a replay at The Hawthorns wouldn’t be something the club would want to avoid, when asked about the possibility of a replay.

“Let’s see what happens on the day, I think it’s going to be a great occasion and that’s the most important thing,” he said.

“I’m sure the lads will give it their all and certainly be wanting to win the game.

“No, a replay definitely isn’t something we would be trying to avoid but we’ll be going for the win on the day that’s for sure.

“We’d certainly prefer to win the game on Saturday than get a replay.”