Guiseley v AFC Telford: Gavin Cowan takes on mentor
The student meets his mentor as AFC Telford United head up to Guiseley tomorrow afternoon.
Bucks boss Gavin Cowan is out to get one over a man he has ‘learnt a lot’ from in Marcus Bignot, who is in charge of the Lions alongside Russ O’Neill, writes Joe Edwards.
Cowan and Bignot – both former Telford defenders – enjoyed great times together at Solihull Moors a couple of years ago.
Bignot was in charge and Cowan player-coach as Moors clinched the National League North title in 2015/16.
Bignot, who played for the Bucks from 1992 until 1996, then moved on to Grimsby Town, where he was unsuccessful, and then had a similarly challenging time in charge at Chester last campaign that ended with relegation from the National League.
Cowan left Moors at a similar time to take up a coaching role at Telford, which he had a for a couple of seasons before becoming manager earlier this summer.
He said: “It’s my old colleague, Marcus. He is joint-manager there.
“One thing they will be is organised, he’s a tactical magician.
“We’ll want to destroy each other for 90 minutes, but he’s a great guy.
“I loved working with him, learnt a lot from him, and I look forward to seeing him again.”
The Bucks go into the clash in good spirits after picking up four points from their first two games.
Guiseley, who also dropped out of the National League at the end of last term, have suffered back-to-back defeats – 1-0 at Boston United and then 2-0 to Chorley.
On what can be expected of the Nethermoor Park outfit, Cowan said: “He’ll know how to set up, he’ll have had us watched and he’ll try to combat that.
“I’m excited. It’ll be good to see him again but we’ve proved in the first two games that we’re capable of mixing it.
“It’s all about our attitude and application.
“If the players stick with what they’ve been doing, we’ll be alright. If they drop off, we’ll be in trouble.”
Telford are assessing the fitness of left-back Steph Morley ahead of the encounter.
He started the opening-day win against Southport but tweaked his calf, which forced him to off and then miss the 0-0 draw at Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday.
Ryan Sears came in for him at Aggborough and impressed greatly so is expected to stay in the team.
Winger Adam Dawson may be in line for his first Bucks start after coming on as a substitute in that game.
Apart from Morley, there are no injury worries. Defender Dom Smith is serving the last of a three-game ban, which relates to a straight red card picked up at Spennymoor Town, the second last game of last season, in April.
Theo Streete has been playing alongside skipper Shane Sutton at the heart of defence in Smith’s absence and, having kept two clean sheets, Smith has a fight on his hands to get back in the side.
“We’ll assess Steph again. I’ll speak to Jake (Roe), the physio, and assess him again. We’ll see,” added Cowan.
“You’ve got players out of the squad and you’ve got Adam Dawson on the bench, desperate to play games.
“That’s the culmination of a team being successful, but he could be in contention for Saturday.”
Likely Telford XI (4-4-2): Bramley; Sears, Streete, Sutton (c), White; Dawson, Deeney, McQuilkin, Knights; Udoh, Morgan-Smith
Prediction: Away win