Branston - Pressure on Shrews
Torquay's Guy Branston says the pressure is on Shrewsbury ahead of their League Two play-off semi-final.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 13/05/11 1:19pm
Guy Branston has told his Torquay team-mates that all the pressure is on Shrewsbury ahead of their League Two play-off semi-final.
The Gulls have surprised many by claiming a seventh-placed finish in their second year back in the Football League while the Shrews were one of the pre-season favourites and narrowly missed out on automatic promotion.
But Torquay held Graham Turner's men to a 1-1 draw away in October before beating them 5-0 at Plainmoor in March.
So defender Branston, who was named in the League Two team of the year, has told his team-mates they should have nothing to fear when they host Saturday's first leg.
"We're a massive underdog and we've got to face probably the best side in the play-offs first so it's going to be really hard," he told skysports.com.
"With the form they're in, they'll be expected to win promotion so they'll be more nervous than us.
"We're just buzzing to be in there. We'll just try to go out there and enjoy the game.
"Shrewsbury are big players in this division. They've got a new stadium, a big fanbase and big money - some of them have dropped down a division to play for Shrewsbury - so hopefully we can do a David and Goliath to get to the final.
"We like playing against the big sides. They don't like coming to Torquay, and we've made it a bit of a fortress. Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet again and go on from there."
Forward Jake Robinson joined on loan from Shrewsbury mid-season, scoring twice in the 5-0 win, and he is eligible to face his parent club again in the play-offs.
"Hopefully he'll rip them to pieces, like he did last time," said Branston. "Their attention will be on him because they know how good he can be on his day.
"He probably wasn't like that regularly for Shrewsbury but he's definitely been playing well for us, when he's basically been playing out of position."
Despite being 32, this is only the second time Branston will experience the play-offs after appearing for Colchester against Barnet back in 1997/98.
Branston was sent off as the Us lost the first leg 1-0 but they went on to book their place in the final, coincidentally beating Torquay at Wembley.
"I'm really looking forward to this first game because I've been around the play-offs but never actually played in them since," said the much-travelled centre-back.
"I was 18 at the time, fresh out of the Leicester academy, and I let the occasion play me. I'm definitely not going to let that happen this time. I'm going to play the game, just as I have been doing all season."
This year's final will be held at Old Trafford on 28th May when the winners will face either Accrington or Stevenage.
Branston added: "Us and Accy and probably on a par in terms of budget and size of the club, so if either of us make the final it'll be an amazing feat."