STEVE Cunningham has revealed he is using Barcelona as a basis for his Colne side this season ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup extra preliminary round derby at Barnoldswick Town.

Colne are top of the North West Counties League Premier Division after two wins from two and Cunningham put the flying start down to a new flexible approach for his firing forwards.

Jay Hart has hit four in the opening two matches of the season, while Danny Boyle and Spencer Jordan have also found the net.

And with Ben Allen set to return to the squad this weekend, Cunningham admits he has been using Luis Enrique’s Barca as a template for his frontmen to follow.

“We try to model ourselves on Barcelona when we are attacking,” said Cunningham. “That’s not to say we are that good or arrogant.

“But we want our forwards not to have a set formation when we have the ball.

“We want them to all inter-change and have some freedom.

“Our formation is only for when we don’t have the ball.

“We showed the players videos of Barcelona in pre-season and the way they do that. We have also used Barcelona to influence a few of our set-plays.

“It seems to be working.”

Colne’s flying start means they are overwhelming favourites to overcome Barnoldswick tomorrow, but Cunningham admits the game is something of a distraction.

“For me it is,” said Cunningham. “I would rather have a league game. We are not going to win the FA Cup.

“The start we’ve had means I want to be playing league games and building momentum.

“I know it can help us off the field but to me it is a distraction.

“The prize money is only going to be spent on a bill.”

So much for the magic of the FA Cup.

“It is great for the players to say they have played in it and for the club as whole it is a good thing,” added Cunningham.

“But for me, I want to get out of this league and with only one promotion place it is a very hard thing to do.”

Barnoldswick head into the cup clash on the back of picking up their first three points of the season following a midweek win over AFC Blackpool.

Elsewhere, excitement is building at AFC Darwen as they prepare for their first fixture in the competition since reforming six years ago.

The Salmoners are at home to Washington tomorrow and head into the clash on the back of picking up their first point of the season in midweek.

A crowd of 199 at a sun-kissed WEC Group Anchor Ground watched newly-promoted Darwen draw 2-2 with Silsden.

Paul Coote, from the penalty spot, and Keil Lonsdale, twice put Darwen in front in what was a thrilling contest.

Nelson, who have appointed former Clitheroe player Scott Redhead to their management team, will also be bidding to make cup progress when they host Newton Aycliffe, while Padiham travel to Whickham with that game taking place on Sunday.

Bacup Borough are without a game in the North West Counties League First Division.