JASON STOKES has backed Boston United to avoid an FA Cup giant-killing at the hands of Tadcaster Albion, insisting the Pilgrims' superior quality and fitness should carry them through.
Victory at Tadcaster's 2inspire Park home will book a place in the fourth qualifying round and a potential date with one of the big guns of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Stokes knows what to expect from the Northern Counties East League Premier Division outfit, having played against the Brewers during his days at Rossington Main.
He believes, provided United are professional, that a place in the final qualifying round is theirs for the taking.
"I've played against Tadcaster a few times. From my experience, they usually play with a big target man and play off him," said Stokes, who joined the Pilgrims in the summer after impressing on trial.
"We should beat them and progress to the next round without any troubles.
"I think they'll be more physical than normal because they'll expect us to be a passing side. They'll be told to get in our faces and make life difficult for us.
"But fitness will be key and so will the technical side."
Having spent much of his career playing at step five of the non-league pyramid – three levels below Blue Square Bet North – Stokes admits he is still working on his own fitness levels.
The 21-year-old has impressed since arriving at the Jakemans Stadium, becoming a regular starter down the left flank.
However, he admits he is frustrated to not have finished more games and was replaced after an hour in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Bradford Park Avenue.
"My fitness levels need to improve," he confessed. "That's why I keep getting dragged off after an hour. I need to do a bit more work myself after training.
"I don't like being off the pitch, it's frustrating.
"I'm pleased to be starting games and I'm getting into it, it's just my fitness. I didn't have to do this much running when I was at Rossington so it's still a bit new to me."
United are hopeful Spencer Weir-Daley will be fit for Saturday's clash after missing the Bradford defeat with an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, the Pilgrims' league clash with Gainsborough Trinity, due to be played last night (Tuesday), will be rearranged.
The Lincolnshire derby was postponed due to Trinity's FA Cup relay at Chester FC.