We'll have to be at our best for this one – Gilbert
DARREN Gilbert believes his Bodmin Town side will have to be at their best when they take on Brightlingsea Regent in the FA Carlsberg Vase on Saturday.
The Carlsberg South West Peninsula League champions set off for Essex on Friday afternoon looking to overcome the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League premier division side in an attractive looking fourth round tie.
And Gilbert said: "I know that we will all need to produce our top form to stand any chance of a result – but I know what my players are capable of. What I can promise is that we'll give it our very best shot.
"We are doing the preparation properly. We are leaving at 2.30 on Friday afternoon and staying overnight, not far from their ground, so we will be on the scene on Saturday morning.
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"It's a good chance for the players and the supporters who travel with us to bond. It's about time we had that now with this new squad."
Gilbert revealed that Brightlingsea, who play at Step 5 in the football pyramid, one above Bodmin, had representatives at Priory Park last Wednesday to watch Bodmin beat Liskeard Athletic 6-1 in a hastily-arranged premier division game.
"Yes, they came to have a look at us," said Gilbert. "From what I can gather, they have been tweeting saying that we're a good side and they'll have to play well to win.
"So it promises to be a good contest."
Bodmin are hoping to travel with a 15-man squad if midfield man Jonny Ludlam recovers from a niggling knee injury which has kept him out for a fortnight.
The squad will include Gilbert himself, who hasn't played since damaging knee ligaments towards the end of last season.
He said: "The knee isn't quite right yet but I'd say it's 75 to 80 per cent there and I'll be on the bench for this one and if I am needed I will come on."
Despite the awful weather recently, Bodmin have been able to get some match practice in the last eight days with the Liskeard game followed on Saturday by their 5-0 victory at Mullion in the Cornwall Senior Cup.
Gilbert said: "I'd like to thank Liskeard and their manager Martin McHugh for agreeing to the rearranged league game.
"They didn't have to do it, they helped us out really. But it has meant we have had two vital games to get us match practice before the Vase tie.
"Certainly in the first half at Mullion we were really good, scoring all of our five goals in that period.
"It allowed us to take it a little easier in the second half because we didn't want to be picking up any more injuries."
Winners of Saturday's tie will collect £2,000 and a place in the last 16.
Bodmin squad: Miller, Podmore, Jewell, Chambers, Simmonds, L Doel, Matthews, Alexander, O'Hagan, Wright, Broomfield, Morgan, N Doel, Gilbert. Plus Ludlam if fit.
Live updates of Saturday's tie from 3pm on twitter at @SportCornwall.