ANDY MORRISON insists Connah’s Quay Nomads will have “no fear” as they head north to face Dumbarton.
The Nomads boss believes his side will relish facing the Scottish Championship outfit in the competition, which is their reward for finishing runners-up in the Welsh Premier League last season.
Morrison, who has guided his side to two wins from three matches this season, said: "We go there with no fear and I will remind the lads that this is their reward for finishing as the 'part time champions' of the Welsh Premier League and to go out and enjoy the experience and do out league proud."
While Nomads have enjoyed a strong start to the 2017/18 campaign,Dumbarton are yet to win in the league, their only success coming as they beat Rangers U20s 2-0 in the opening round.
As usual, Morrison is leaving no stone unturned in his quest for victory, and the former Airbus assistant has a word of caution for those confident Nomads can progress past Dumbarton.
“It will be a welcome distraction from the Welsh Premier League and also an opportunity for our players to challenge themselves against players from a very strong Scottish Championship team,” he added. “Having watchedDumbarton in their last two games, we have an idea how they play. They are a very big strong, organised team and we must remember that St Mirren were bottom of the Scottish Championship when they beat TNS 4-1 last season, so I think that tells us just how strong the league is."
Nomads' Nathan Woolfe, Jake Phillips and Declan Poole are all sidelined through injury with Poole’s injury more serious.
“Declan Poole is seeing a specialist this week for an injection into his groin which will keep him out of action for six to eight weeks with a problem very similar to that which kept Callum Morris out for so long last season,” saidMorrison, who will include Michael and Mathias Bakare in their squad for the cup clash.
John Oyenuga will feature if he receives international clearance after signing earlier this week. The 22-year-old former Farnborough and Aylesbury man played in pre-season against Flint for Nomads and Morrison is pleased to have him on board.
"John is another young lad with real potential, great energy and electric pace who has done great during his trial and deserves his contract until January,” said Morrison.
The New Saints return to the competition looking to go one stage further this season after being knocked out in the semi-finals last year.
Saints will also play their first home game in the competition after three away games last season, although they come up against familiar opponents in Livingston on Sunday.
Under Craig Harrison, Saints were 3-0 victors over hosts Livingston, although defender Blaine Hudson is taking nothing for granted this time around.
“It is definitely something we are looking forward to,” said Hudson, who played in the 3-0 win over Bala and the 1-0 success at Barry Town United after missing the opening day defeat to Bangor City.
“We’ve got something to build on now. We’ve had a positive win at home, a different sort of win away, which shows we can do both things.
“It will be a good test for us.”
Former Wales international John Hartson is currently coaching Livingston’s strikers on a part time basis.