ANDY Ballard says he will be bursting with pride when he takes his place in the dug-out for Oxford City’s Emirates FA Cup first round tie tomorrow.

The joint-caretaker boss, who grew up playing for the club, took over the managerial reins with Justin Merritt two weeks ago following the departure of Mark Jones.

And he admits he cannot wait for the clash with Solihull Moors at Court Place Farm to get under way.

“It’s a huge privilege for me to be in joint charge of the side, and we’re looking forward to the game as a group, as are the fans,” Ballard said.

“It will be a good occasion for us, but we’re not just looking to turn up, we are looking to do something special and get a positive result out of it.”

Although frustrated City did not draw a bigger club, Ballard believes that a home tie is something to look forward to.

Ballard said: “Going into the game after two wins and a battling draw, we should be high on confidence.

“Although we’re disappointed we didn’t get a league club, we have a home draw against a side that will test us.

“It will be a massive game for us because Solihull are a good National League side who are in good form at the minute.

“We will be well-prepared and will give it our best shot.”

City have reached the first round for each of the last three seasons, earning rave reviews for their performances against Colchester United, Notts County and Tranmere Rovers.

And Ballard believes there are things in his side’s favour that will give them a chance of a shock result, but knows they go into the game as big underdogs.

“We’re on our 3G pitch and I don’t think Solihull will have played on many artificial surfaces, so that will give us a slight edge in that sense,” he said.

“In recent years, we’ve done so well against sides from leagues above, so we will take that on board and look for a positive result.”

He added: “Solihull are a bigger club than ours and will come with their own game plan, delivering balls into the box.”

“But we need to be the opposite – quick, sharp and nipping around the pitch.

“If we can keep the ball away from them, they will get frustrated, but we will need to take our chances.”

With the exception of cup-tied striker Elliot Benyon, Ballard can name a full strength squad.

“As a management team, you want everyone available, and we have that now,” he said.

“We need everyone who starts and everyone who comes on from the bench to have an impact.”

As a player, Ballard represented City and Didcot Town in first round matches, and accepts he will have different emotions in the technical area.

“I’m very much focused on the team doing the business on the pitch,” he said.

“I understand what it’s like to be out there and playing, and it’s different for me being on the bench.

“It’s down to the boys to enjoy the experience and play well.

“On our day, we’re capable of winning any game.

“We have the ability, and as long as we put in the effort we can test them, and hopefully we can get the result we all dream of.”