Fans of either Oldham Athletic or Chesterfield will wake up tomorrow ready to plan their trip to Wembley as their teams meet in the second leg of the Northern Final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tonight.
Chesterfield take a slender 2-1 lead to Boundary Park after the first leg meeting, with the game almost certain to go ahead despite the recent cold spell. The ground has been protected each night since Friday and the covers have done their job in keeping out the frost as temperatures plunged well below zero.
There has been a marked contrast in the preparations of the two sides. Oldham haven't played for 10 days while Chesterfield were in action on Friday night, winning at home to Bournemouth to give themselves a real boost in their fight against relegation.
Coach Mark Crossley, no stranger to Wembley as Nottingham Forest's goalkeeper, thinks their opponent's lay-off could actually work in the Spireites' favour:
"Oldham haven't played for 10 days but that can work both ways," he told www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk. "Ideally we would have liked another twenty four hours but we have momentum to carry into the game.
"Their players will be rested but we also haven't picked up any injuries and ultimately it will come down to which side handles the pressure the best will go through.
"Monday is a massive night for us all. We have a slight advantage but we won't be going there to sit back. It's a cup tie that's still tense and there will be a lot of drama I am sure. We will be going there full of confidence, with things going well recently and we don't want to take our foot off the gas in a massive game for the club.
"We are leading but it's only half-time and we are perhaps 90 minutes away from Wembley. Let's hope come Tuesday morning we have a few hangovers and made it."
Manager John Sheridan echoed Crossley's comments when he told www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk:
"I don't have to do a team talk - not many players get to play in a Wembley final in their career.
"Effectively it's half-time in the tie and we are only halfway there. I am pleased that we take a small advantage into the game but Oldham will be a big threat and no doubt they will put us under the cosh in the second leg."
Oldham Manager Paul Dickov, also no stranger to Wembley as a player, has a rested squad who are raring to go, and believes that the objective is very simple for his team. he told Latics Player:
"The good thing is we have had a free week. We have had three or four players out with injuries and having no game on Saturday gave us the best possible chance of having them fit. Plus the players who have been playing have had a lot of games so it has given them the little bit of rest that they need so that are all fresh and fine to go.
"We know what we have to do. Possibly Chesterfield are coming here wondering whether to protect their lead or go and try and get another goal. But we are clear in what we have to do.
"We know we have to score so we know we have to go for it, like we do in every game. If we create the chances that we did at their place, where we had 22 efforts at goal, 12 on target, then that tells me two things. One, their goalkeeper has had another very good game and secondly our finishing has to be a bit better. If we create the number of chances that we have created against Chesterfield in the three games this season I am pretty sure there will be goals."
The possibility of penalty kicks to decide who heads for the Wembley arch is something that Dickov is very aware of:
"We will be practising penalties. Regardless of whether it is a cup game or league the boys like to have a little competition on penalties. It is OK doing it out there on the training ground but when you get out there in a pressure situation you have to be man enough to take it and be big enough not to change your mind and to hit the target."
However the Oldham manager will not be going gung-ho to try and ensure that his side claw back that goal lead:
"I am quietly confident that we will score goals. When we are attacking we have to make sure that unless it is the last 10 minutes and we need to go for it, we don't have 10 outfield players attacking. I don't want to be boring but we have to make sure that we don't concede.
"Then with the players we have got I always think we have goals in the team. We weren't at our bet at Chesterfield last week but to create 22 chances shows that we are a good attacking team that likes to play decent football."
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