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Chatham Town boss Kevin Watson urges his players to take their opportunity against Whyteleafe in the FA Cup

By Steve Tervet
Kevin Watson Picture: Steve Crispe

Chatham manager Kevin Watson has told his players to "grow up" ahead of their FA Cup tie against Whyteleafe on Saturday.

Watson was critical of his side's two performances over the Bank Holiday weekend - defeats to Aveley (2-1) and Thurrock (5-1) in Ryman League Division 1 North.

He's on the hunt for new signings but Saturday's preliminary round tie at Maidstone Road will come too soon for that.

Watson said: "I won’t be able to get any new faces in by Saturday, so we’ll go with the squad we’ve got. We’ve got injuries and suspensions, including more injuries from the other day, so we’re a bit depleted in that sense.

"It’s going to be difficult. They were a good team last season (when they won the Southern Counties East League) and they’ve improved since then.

"It’s going to be really difficult. People need to grow up and be accountable because this is a big game."

Chatham went all the way to the FA Cup fourth qualifying round last season, beating Whyteleafe along the way, and Watson is taking the competition seriously again.

He said: "I want the players to get into their heads that this is the biggest competition they’ll ever play in, in their careers.

Action from Chatham's FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against St Albans in 2013-14 Picture: Steve Crispe

"You only get one chance a season to play in it. Some of them may only play in this competition five or 10 times in their career.

"Not many teams have a cup run two years running, so we’ve got to not take it for granted. Look at the teams we beat last season. They were all good teams and they’re all doing well this season.

"I don’t know if it’s an advantage, knowing how good (a cup run) can be. We’ll see."

Liam Hickey completes his three-game suspension this weekend while Ade Yusuff, Brad Potter and Lewis Knight are all injury doubts.

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