CHELTENHAM Town's quality will only shine through against Yate Town if they match their part-time opponents' desire, warns Russ Penn.
The midfielder will return from suspension to face the minnows from just north of Bristol at the Abbey Business Stadium tomorrow (3pm).
Having spent time in non-League football himself with Kidderminster Harriers and Alvechurch, Penn knows exactly what the FA Cup first round tie will mean to the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West club, who have reached the competition proper for the first time in their history.
They defeated Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Newport County 3-1 after extra-time in a fourth qualifying round replay at Rodney Parade.
“The key in matches like this is your attitude because if you turn up thinking you’ve already won, that’s when you get turned over,” Penn said.
“It’s Yate’s cup final and we were in that position against Tottenham in the third round last season.
“They’ll work hard and come out of the traps flying, so we’ve got to match their effort and be professional and do a thorough job.
“We can’t take them lightly because they’ve beaten the Blue Square Bet Premier leaders over two games so they are definitely no mugs. They’ll bring a good crowd too, so we’ve got to be at it.”
Penn was forced to sit out last Saturday’s 3-0 home victory over Exeter City due to a one-match ban for accumulating five cautions this season.
It was his first suspension since joining Cheltenham and he said that he will not be changing the way he goes out his game.
“I think I’ve always been pretty similar, getting around the pitch, working hard and putting my tackles in,” he said.
“It’s basically one mistimed tackle every three games and you’ve got a suspension, but that’s not too bad for centre midfield player.
“I won’t change the way I play and if I pick up bookings, so be it.
“Having missed last Saturday, I am buzzing for tomorrow and I can’t wait to get going again.”
Cheltenham have lost only one of their last nine League Two fixtures and they visit early pacesetters Gillingham next Tuesday.
But Penn said they cannot afford to lose their focus, with Yate aiming to cause an upset in the biggest match in their history.
“It would be horrible going to Gillingham if we’ve gone out of the Cup,” Penn said.
“We are on good form in the league and we want to keep this run going because it breeds confidence, but we can’t think about next week until we’ve safely negotiated this weekend.”