Ian Evatt will send his men out on a twin mission as they look to kick-start their 2022 at Hartlepool United.
Victory over the League Two side tonight (Tuesday 7pm) would take Wanderers into the quarter-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy and leave the Whites just two more wins from Wembley.
And Evatt is also hoping a positive result at the Suit Direct Stadium can provide the catalyst for a second-half resurgence after his COVID-hit squad returned to League One action at Rotherham on New Year’s Day.
“From now until the end of the season they are all important games,” said the Whites’ boss.
“We have suffered a bit of late but things are getting better and getting better fast.
“Winning is a habit. Once you get wins under your belt you can build momentum.
“We are looking to build momentum in the league, of course, and achieve something like we did last season.
“I still think there’s lots to play for in the league. I don’t think there’s any real outstanding team.
“I think we could take points off everybody, provided we look after ourselves and perform the right way.
“But for now, it’s about going to Hartlepool and putting on a good show, a good performance and hopefully getting through to the next round.”
Wanderers booked their trip to the North-East with a win over Fleetwood Town in the last 32 following a 100 per cent record in the group stage of the competition.
Hartlepool, meanwhile, pulled off an impressive 3-0 victory at Sheffield Wednesday to reach this stage and are still going in the FA Cup, with a third-round tie at home to Blackpool on Saturday.
Pools have lost just one of their last six games in all competitions going back to the start of December.
And Evatt won’t be holding anything back in a first meeting between the clubs since 1998 as Wanderers aim to give their away form a shot in the arm ahead of back-to-back home League One fixtures after a blank weekend ahead.
“It’s a competitive game and we want to try and win,” added Evatt, who will welcome back midfielder MJ Williams after he missed the 2-1 loss at Rotherham with COVID – Wanderers’ first game since 11 December – and could also have new signings Dion Charles and Marlon Fossey in his squad.
“To get to Wembley – regardless of the competition – is a fantastic achievement for anybody and something you remember for the rest of your life so hopefully we can give our fans something to sing about and get another step towards that Wembley final.
“We will be picking as strong a team as we possibly can, there’s no doubt about that.
“People have been suffering with stiffness from Saturday and we’ll see how they are.
“But availability-wise we’ll be picking a full-strength team to try and win the game as best we can.”
Tickets are available to buy at the game tonight with details HERE
The tie is also available to watch via iFollow with details HERE