Returning Shots captain prepares for Miller timeBy Jon Couch
January 03, 2013
CAPTAIN Ben Herd reckons he'll be back fitter and hungrier than ever when he leads Aldershot Town out for their historic cup clash on Saturday.
Right-back Herd has spent three matches on the sidelines after his stoppage time sending off against Rochdale on December 15.
But he is set to return to skipper the Shots for the FA Cup visit of Rotherham United on Saturday – the first time the EBB Stadium has staged a third-round game in the competition for 25 years.
Up until his suspension, Herd was an ever-present starter in Dean Holdsworth’s side.
But the 27-year-old says he has used this mini-break to his own advantage and is now raring to go for the visit of Steve Evans' league high-fliers.
“I’ve been playing with a tear in my foot for a couple of months so it's given me time to rest it up a bit and try to get it right,” Herd explained.
“I've used it as a mini pre-season really, going down the gym, and I feel I've become fitter with this spell on the sidelines. I've got the hunger and the enthusiasm and I'm raring to go and, if selected, I hope to show that on Saturday.
“It's a good opportunity for us to progress to the next round. They've got a big budget and fantastic facilities up there so we will be the underdogs but we're at home, looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can cause a little upset.
“When we played them last time [3-0 home defeat on October 20], our confidence was at its lowest ebb, but results breed confidence and hopefully that little extra knowhow in seeing games out will help us.”
For Holdsworth, it’s another chance to lock horns with charasmatic Evans, with whom he has enjoyed a long-standing rivalry from when the Millers’ chief was at Crawley.
And typically, the cool-as-you-like Shots boss is relishing the battle. “I love seeing him, love managing against him,” Holdsworth said. “We have some great battles, it's all good banter and I'm really looking forward to it.
“I went up to watch them last week but Steve has told me they'll have four or five new players in by then so lucky him, but we will prepare properly as we always do.
“It's a big game, we’ve never been in this position in the third round as a club and it’s a big challenge for us.”