Salisbury boss Darrell Clarke plays down FA Cup importance

Darrell Clarke
Clarke has been Salisbury's player-manager since 2010

Salisbury player-manager Darrell Clarke has told his players to focus on their progression in the Blue Square Bet South rather than the FA Cup.

The Whites reached the second round of the Cup competition after Saturday's 3-1 victory over Arlesey and will now face either Port Vale or Grimsby.

But they have gone four games without a win in the league and now sit 16th.

"I've had a meeting with my players and put a ban on FA Cup talk," Clarke told BBC Wiltshire.

"The league is the bread and butter and the Cup is there to be enjoyed.

"We've got two league fixtures now and we've got an important FA Trophy game [against Weston-super-Mare] as well.

"It's important that while we look forward to the occasion we need to get some points in the league."

Salisbury are looking to win back their place in the top-flight of non-league after suffering a double demotion for breaking Football Conference rules in 2010.

They won the Southern Premier play-off final last season but have struggled to find their feet in the league so far this term.

"In the beautiful world of football the pressure is always on and we are looking to climb in the league," added Clarke.

"The performances haven't been too bad but we've been unfortunate with our points totals against the top sides, so we'll be looking to get some consistency back into our league game and obviously look forward to the cup competitions as they come."

Meanwhile, the club have given youth striker Romario Hart a professional deal and have also signed midfielder Michael Alexis and Marvin Williams from Hemel Hempstead, with forward Matt Wright going the other way on loan.

They have also released striker Claudio Herbert and have opted against extending the loan deals of Portsmouth's Lewis Stockford and Reading's Charlie Losasso.