Seize the moment, urges Phil, in Trophy rallying call!
Here is the second of two articles submitted by press officer John Edwards for inclusion in this week's Messenger newspaper. Picture by Jonathan Moore.
Phil Parkinson has urged Altrincham's players and supporters to 'seize the moment' as they head into their biggest game for decades against FC Halifax Town in the Isuzu FA Trophy semi-final at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.
With Wembley the prize for the winners, and the prospect of a return to the Twin Towers after an absence of 37 years, the tie has captured the Altrincham public's imagination.
A 5,000-plus sell-out crowd looks certain, with only a handful of tickets remaining earlier this week, and as he turned his attention to Saturday, after Tuesday night's 2-0 home defeat to Notts County, Parkinson sounded a rousing battle cry to his squad and the club's growing fan base.
'We had an excellent win against Southend United on Saturday and then a really tough one with Notts County, so everyone's tools will be sharpened going into what is a massive game for us, our biggest in over 30 years,' said the Alty boss.
'They don't come any bigger than this, and we've got to make sure we seize the moment. We've got to own it, we've got to live it, we've got to take it and grab it with both hands.
'My message to the fans is get through the gates and get behind us. Be the extra man. I want to see and hear everyone in red and white shouting and screaming and singing all their brilliant songs and chants.
'If we go one down or two down, you can make all the difference; if we're winning, you can keep us going. It's so important - we need you now more than ever. We will be running and tackling and doing everything we can to get to Wembley, so please get down and support us. It's going to be tough, because Halifax will want it just as much, so come along and help make it our day.'
Parkinson took the precaution of substituting key midfielder Isaac Marriott in only the 39th minute after he was booked on Tuesday to avoid risking a second card and suspension on Saturday.