Aldershot boss Dean Holdsworth is hoping for a repeat of last year’s knock-out heroics
There’s a touch of déjà vu in the air for Aldershot Town as the npower League 2 team prepare for a Capital One Cup First Round trip to face a Wolverhampton Wanderers side just relegated from the Premier League to the Championship.
Twelve months ago, the Shots had a similar task in the opening round, travelling to meet West Ham United who – like Wolves this term – had just been relegated but had been installed as one of the hot promotion favourites.
Against all the odds, Aldershot won 2-1 at Upton Park and manager Dean Holdsworth, whose team went on to beat two League 1 clubs in the competition before falling to the mighty Manchester United, is relishing the prospect of taking on another top team.
Holdsworth told football-league.co.uk: “The Capital One Cup is a tremendous competition and we certainly enjoyed our run last year, particularly for me in the First Round because I was brought up in West Ham and supported the club as a youngster.
“It was a fabulous night at Upton Park and then, after beating Carlisle and Rochdale to reach the Fourth Round, we had a fantastic occasion at home when we played Manchester United in what was probably the biggest game in our club’s history.
“It was a great journey for everyone connected with the club and, as well as getting some great headlines along the way plus a lot of credit for the way we played, it really boosted the club’s finances and that was very important for us.
“Now we’re in a very similar to the position we were in this time last year in the competition, having to play away against the number one seeds in the first round, and obviously we’ll once again be classed as huge underdogs.
“But we won’t worry about the odds being stacked against us. It’s going to be another brilliant day for us – we’ll go to Molineux aiming to enjoy the occasion, to play the right way and to give them as big a challenge as we can.”
Holdsworth’s men will certainly be up for the challenge as they look to maintain the impetus of their fine run-in to the end of last season by producing a Capital One Cup shock that could be the springboard for a tilt at promotion.
The Shots boss said: “It’s an exciting time for Aldershot. We’re not one of the big clubs financially in the division, but we’ve got a decent playing squad and we’ll be competitive – and our goal will be to finish in the top seven.”