Football - Pope wary of banana skin

Port Vale striker Tom Pope has stressed the importance of putting in a professional performance ahead of the visit to Shortwood in the FA Cup on Monday night.

PA Sport Report

The Sky Bet League One outfit are facing the lowest-ranked side in the competition and their top scorer has warned against taking the opposition for granted.

"You can't afford to take games like this lightly because if you do that is when cup upsets happen," he told the club's website.

"They won away at Aldershot in the replay. I know Aldershot are in the Conference but it isn't too long ago we played Aldershot at home and drew one each.

"If they can go to Aldershot and get a result there, they are not mugs, so we have got to apply ourselves right and hopefully if we do that we will win the game."

The 28-year-old is anticipating a big-match atmosphere as the hosts ready themselves for their maiden appearance in the first round proper.

"The atmosphere is going to be what it is," said Pope. "I don't know what their average gate is but if there is 1,300 there, not many of them will be Shortwood fans, they are just going to be there for the occasion.

"But this is like their cup final - this is going to be their biggest game they have had for a very long time and we can't afford to take it lightly."

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