HOLYPORT manager Derek Sweetman has explained the pros and cons of cup football as he prepares to take his side to Malmesbury Victoria in the Hellenic Supplementary Cup this Saturday (3pm), writes Rob Stevens.

Port are the current holders of the Supplementary Cup and the trip to the Flying Monk Ground is a welcome distraction to their league campaign.

However, Sweetman does have concerns over injuries ahead of the second round tie, and he insists the priority remains to improve upon their position in Division One East.

He told the Observer: "Any cup competition that you're in at this stage of the season gives you a chance and a little bit of hope. We're still in a few, which is good to turn your focus away from the league, but it's also relentless.

"It's good if you can keep your players fit but, when you have little niggles or injuries, it doesn't give them time to recover fully and you face losing people to longer-term problems.

"We have four or five that aren't at 100 per-cent and could've done without a match, but it's also not a bad thing because everyone would rather play than not play.

"It's another cup game this Saturday but our priority is to finish above fifth place in the league. We want to push closer to the top three and prepare for another relentless season next year.

"It's all about giving 100 per cent week-in-week-out over 24 league matches and not five or six cup games."

Malmesbury are currently in fourth position in Division One West and on a six-match winning streak in all competitions that has seen them score 29 goals and concede just twice.

Sweetman commented: "Malmesbury have got the leading goalscorer in the league and three of the top strikers in their division, so they score goals for fun.

"It's going to be a trip to the other side of Swindon and we don't know too much about them other than they play at the same level as us just in a different area.

"We will have to be on our game and have one or two injuries at the moment. We will assess them in the week and hopefully put out a strong side to try and turn them over.

"It's also an opportunity to blood in one or two that haven't had many minutes recently."

We winners will be away at Stokenchurch from Division Two East in round three later on this season.