MANAGER Mark McLean says he will not allow his Halstead Town players to entertain thoughts of being the underdogs when they continue their FA Cup adventure at London Colney on Saturday.

Having already beaten one side from the level above them in the non-league footballing pyramid - when winning 3-1 at Essex Senior League club Sawbridgeworth Town - in the previous stage, the Humbugs face a similar task in the preliminary round.

London Colney are currently sat mid-table in the Spartan South Midlands League premier division, but Halstead head into the tie sat top of Thurlow Nunn League division one south and have won five games in a row.

The latest two wins came with a 1-0 league victory against Burnham Ramblers last weekend and a 5-0 hammering of Lopes Tavares in midweek and McLean won't let his team suffer any inferiority complex as they head to London Colney.

"It is a massive game," said the Humbugs boss.

"It's the FA Cup and we are so excited about it.

"It's the type of game where you hear people talking about it who wouldn't normally talk about it and it's just great to be involved in it as it creates something different.

"The players are really excited by it.

"We beat a step five side at their place in the last round and this is another opportunity to do that again.

"London Colney are step five in a really good division but we will go there looking to win.

"I'd never talk to my group about them being underdogs.

"That isn't arrogance, it's just what I believe.

"Before the Sawbridgeworth game, I said to them that they may be lesser on paper, but that means nothing to us.

"We went there to win and that's what happened.

"London Colney have had a bit of a mix up this year so we don't know as much about them, but we will be going there to win again."

McLean knows what a good result at London Colney would do for his team's confidence, but with preliminary round winners earning £2,890 plus a guaranteed £1,500 even if knocked out in the following round, he is well aware how much of a boost it could be for the club's coffers.

McLean added: "For the club, it is massively important.

"I look at people's faces and I know how good it is for them to see us doing well in the FA Cup, but when I see the reactions of people who really know about the club's finances, then I really see how much it means.

"That is massive for me and to be able to give them that is fantastic and we want to continue giving them that.

"They are trying their best to move this club forward and it can be difficult because we don't have the resources that some others have, but bringing in prize money like we have is so important."

McLean said Jack Schelvis, Jamie Baker and Chris Harris were likely to be unavailable for the trip to London Colney, while Connel Dunlop and Jake Brown would have their fitness assessed as both continued comebacks from early season injury problems.

The Town boss admitted that injuries were continuing to stretch his squad during a busy early season run of games, that is due to continue with a home game in the league against Wivenhoe Town on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm), but he was pleased with how his players had risen to the challenge.

He said: "We have dealt well with injuries that we have.

"We have been stretched so far; it was similar last year, but we have had important players out this time and we have had to rise to the challenge.

"The way the players have done that has been very good."