DAVID Hopkin knows first-hand about the importance of the FA Cup.

He was a Chelsea player when they lost 4-0 to Manchester United in the competition's final in 1994, but was not involved in the matchday squad.

He also enjoyed a more uplifting emotion in the cup, as he was in the Leeds United side which had to have two bites of the cherry to beat non-league Rushden and Diamonds. David O'Leary's side won a third round replay 3-1 at Elland Road in 1999 with Hopkin at the heart of that side's midfield.

But he did not play a part in any FA Cup games during his spell as a Bantams player.

Now he hopes his City side can create their own lasting memories and go far themselves, saying a win tomorrow can be a massive turning point for his side.

The Bantams have been dealt a double injury boost ahead of the Aldershot clash. Midfielder Danny Devine has recovered from a toe injury and Jim O'Brien is back after suffering a hamstring injury. Connor Wood is set to deputise for Adam Chicksen, who is suspended following his sending off against Portsmouth last Saturday.

The City head coach, 48, said: "I have had a good record in the FA Cup and been involved in a cup run at some of the clubs I have been at.

"I remember the game against Rushden and Diamonds really well. We won the replay 3-1 at Elland Road.

"It's important. These games are a relief from the league.

"They are all big games, it's the FA Cup. It is a break from the league for the players and one we are looking forward to.

"Aldershot will see us as a scalp. My players need to be fully focused mentally.

"This stage of the competition gives most clubs in League One and League Two the chance to get a third round tie. All of these games are massive. We need to start winning games.

"We have had some chances over the last few weeks. It's important we get our mindset right. After this game, we then have the EFL Trophy tie against Barnsley on Tuesday, followed by Peterborough way in the league.

"We have 20 or 21 players fit and all in contention for Saturday.

He also took positives out of last Saturday's 1-0 defeat to League One leaders Portsmouth and says his side are showing encouraging shoots of recovery following their losing streak.

Hopkin added: "The Portsmouth game was a step in the right direction.

"The fans deserve something, they deserve for us to go through."

City would not only benefit on the field from a win tomorrow but also off the field as a win at the EBB Stadium would earn them £37,000. It would also put them one step away from the possibility of a plum tie at a top Premier League club.