An FA Cup giantkilling has been added to the history-making run of form that Barrow are on but Bluebirds boss Paul Cox has urged his side to keep their feet on the ground.




Saturday 20th August was the last time Cox’s side tasted defeat in any competition when they were beaten at Dover Athletic in the Vanarama National League.

Since then they have gone twenty two games unbeaten, including a number of eye-catching victories.

Wins over the likes of Lincoln City, Tranmere Rovers and Dagenham and Redbridge have now been surpassed with their FA Cup Second Round win at SkyBet League One side Bristol Rovers.

Two Byron Harrison goals put the Bluebirds into the Third Round for the first time since 2009, as they fought back from conceding an early goal to give themselves a chance of securing a tie against one of the Premier League’s elite.

Barrow currently sit in fifth place in the National League table, six points behind leaders Tranmere Rovers, although the Bluebirds hold two games in hand on the Merseyside outfit.

Next on the agenda for Cox is an FA Trophy First Round match at either Salford City or Harrogate Town, but the former Mansfield Town manager wants to ensure his side guard against complacency over the rest of the season.

“The biggest issue now is not getting over-confident” warned Cox.

“We have to keep our feet on the ground.

“We have a massive FA Trophy game on Saturday and more importantly than either cup competitions is our league form.

“But I called for us to enjoy this season before it started.

“At the moment we are on an incredible journey and hopefully the journey continues in the same vain that is has done”BARROW

Almost twenty four hours after their FA Cup heroics Cox was still in a joyful mood.

He admitted pre-match that he was confident his side could get a result and the confidence was well-placed.

And as he reflected upon their win at the Memorial Stadium, Cox described the victory as “a special day”.

“We knew going into the game how tough it would be” admitted Cox.

“We spoke in-depth about keeping the noise levels down from the Bristol Rovers supporters.  We knew we had to keep a clean sheet early on but that obviously went out of the window.

“The lads showed an incredible amount of character and heart, not just to get back into the game but to go on and win it.

“It was a special day and I am so proud of the players and the supporters who made it such a wonderful day”

The win was owed much to Barrow striker Byron Harrison.

The Bluebirds’ plans were scuppered after they fell behind to tenth minute Rory Gaffney goal.

The in-form Harrison led the fightback, getting his side back on level terms just six minutes after they fell behind.

Then just after the hour mark he got his second goal the day to send his side into the Third Round of the FA Cup.

The brace continued a fine run of form for the striker, making it thirteen goals in his last ten games in all competitions.

His manager praised Harrison’s impact and believes that their is still much more to come from him.

“I think the biggest compliment I can give Byron is I wish I had worked with him when he was nineteen. 

“He is twenty nine but I think if I had worked with him in the early stages he could go even further.

“He has so much ability. 

“I saw a lot in him that you don’t see in many others.  When we met it was like a meeting of minds and I knew he needed an arm around his shoulder.

“He needs a manager to believe in him and I really have.  He has grown into something that has been so impressive and the nice thing is there is even more to come from him.

“He can still go on and play at a much higher level”

A final word went to the Barrow faithful, who followed their side in great numbers to Bristol.

Cox revealed how humbled he was by their supporters and hopes that they can be rewarded with a plum tie in Monday night’s Third Round draw.

“It is humbling when you see the distances travelled by our supporters.  When you see the numbers they turn up in, and they don’t just turn up.

“It is amazing just how vocal they are and they have jumped right on board with what I asked for when I first came to the club.

“I wanted them to be proactive, to get behind the players and they have done that in abundance.

“I hope that the players and supporters get the draw that could be a creator of great memories”

Those great memories could become a reality when ball number fifty five comes out of the draw on Monday evening.

Interview: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: Barrow AFC


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