AFC Telford's Jas Singh desperate for FA Cup first-round debut
Jas Singh would love to make it to the first round proper of the FA Cup and do something he has never done before.
The possibility of taking on a Football League side in front of a big crowd is something all of the AFC Telford United players will have in the back of their minds as they host FC United of Manchester.
Singh came through the ranks at Shrewsbury Town, spending time as current England No.1 Joe Hart’s understudy, and had a taste of the competition there – but only from the sidelines.
And while the most part of a decade playing in non-league has been largely successful, the 27-year-old has not played in the first round proper.
Ahead of tomorrow’s visit of FC United in the fourth qualifying round, Singh said: “As players, you do think of what could be but you can’t look ahead too much – you have to focus on what is in front of you. FC United are a decent side.
“They have scored three in both of their last two away games and they are not the easiest to break down – winning against Stockport County (in a third qualifying round replay) with nine men proved that.
“I haven’t been in the first round, actually playing.
“I was involved during my time at Shrewsbury but I didn’t play so, personally, there is a bit of extra motivation to go out there and get the win.”
As one of the most experienced players in the squad – and having played every single minute for the Bucks so far this season – Singh is a key figure in the dressing room.
He feels Telford, after winning their last four games at the New Bucks Head, are heading in the right direction but knows there are things to improve.
And keeping more clean sheets is at the top of his to-do list.
“Everyone will look at our results and see that we are coming together now,” he said.
“There has not been as many changes in recent weeks, it has been quite a similar line-up every week and that helps, especially in defence – there is familiarity.
“We are playing good football at times and the lads are learning well – when and where to play.
“We have changed to a back four for recent games and in terms of the formation, you just take what is in front of you and go with it.
“You can’t really say ‘I prefer a back four’ as things can change at any point – injuries or suspensions.
“The last couple of games we have been a back four and you might say we have looked more solid, but we haven’t kept a clean sheet since Barwell (on September 16 in the second qualifying round) so that needs to change.”
Lastly, Singh insists the squad are in a buoyant mood heading into the game and added: “We are full of confidence at the moment – scoring goals, winning games.
“I said earlier in the season that when the performances start coming, the results will take care of themselves – and that is what has happened.
“Of course, we are not winning every week and there are things to work on but we care becoming more consistent and are heading in the right direction. We just need to keep working hard for each other and make sure we do our jobs.”