JAMES Beattie has been the scorer of great goals and important goals throughout his football career.

His glorious FA Cup volley against Oxford United last year was voted Accrington Stanley's goal of the season.

But as he builds up to tonight's Capital One Cup second round showdown with Cardiff City tonight, former Premier League and England striker Beattie hopes he has bigger and better in his locker.

For with his side beset by injury - Ian Dunbavin and Laurence Wilson the latest casualties alongside Nicky Hunt, George Miller and Dean Winnard, while Danny Webber is missing as he serves the second of a three-match ban - the Stanley manger could turn player-manager against the Premier League new boys.

“I might even be on the bench, which is exciting for me. It would be unusual attire for me in management so far,” said Beattie, who is normally suited rather than booted.

“That’s how down to the bare bones we are. That’s not to say I’m not a good player but we’re struggling a little bit at the moment.”

Beattie had initially been reluctant to combine both roles after making the move into management, but after only being able to field six substitutes against Cheltenham on Saturday, such has been the early hit on his 21-man squad, he feels the need to step in.

“I still think as a player I would have a lot to offer but I said it was only fair to the club and to the boys and to myself as well to concentrate on one thing. But if needs must there’s no better man. I’ll roll my sleeves up and get on with it,” said the 35-year-old.

Posed with the idea of coming off the bench and scoring the winner to secure another cup scalp - after Middlesbrough were beaten at the Riverside in the first round – he says he would count that as one of his finest achievements.

“It would be right up there, knowing what I know and knowing the effort we’ve put in since we’ve been here,” said Beattie.

“It would be great for the club, first and foremost because if we got through and we got a home tie I’m sure it would be televised and financially for us that could be amazing.

“It would be great for the lads because they would have put in 90 minutes’ effort again and to be rewarded. That’s what you play football for, to be rewarded.

“Your reward in a league game is three points and league position. Your reward in these games for the lads is obviously a Premier League scalp, but for us behind the scenes it means a hell of a lot more potentially.”

Beattie is hoping home advantage will be a big one, particularly against a side that have left their hostile Ninian Pak home for a shiny new stadium.

“Home form is vital to any club, it doesn’t matter what league you play in or what part of the world. We need to make this a mini fortress,” he said.

“When they come to grounds like this, our dressing room is lovely, but for the away dressing room let’s say there isn’t much budget spent on it.

“A lot of the football at this level is psychology and how you deal with certain things. Hopefully that gets into their head and they take that onto the pitch and we capitalise on that.”

Beattie, who conjured the mantra ‘passion overcomes logic’ before the Boro win, added: “The lads should go out there and play with no pressure, there’s no pressure on us to get a result.

“We’ll be massive underdogs and you know what happened last time we were massive underdogs so we need to try to recreate the atmosphere before that game, the commitment and desire shown during it and enjoy the celebrations afterwards.”