Steve Evans has warned his FA Cup heroes they will be watching at Old Trafford from the stands if their league form dips.

Reds have three games between now and their big date against Manchester United starting with tonight’s televised trip to Kettering.

Home and away matches against in-form Wrexham over the space of three days follow and Evans is determined that Reds are not distracted from their main aim of securing promotion to the Football League.

Luton Town, whom Evans has always insisted are their main rivals for the one automatic promotion place, went top of the Conference on Tuesday after beating Darlington 4-0.

AFC Wimbledon, who were thrashed 4-1 at York City, dropped to second but Reds could overtake both of them with victory at Rockingham Road.

Evans warned: “Any player not focussed on the next three league games won’t play in the Cup tie.

“Our priority is to get promoted and that will not change. Sergio Torres was the hero against Derby and Matt Tubbs was the hero against Torquay but if I think they have lost their focus before Old Trafford they will be sitting next to me.

“It applies to all of the players. You have to earn the right to wear the shirt in every game. Everyone will want to play against Manchester United more than any match we play this season but they have to earn that right over the next three games.”

Scott Neilson has broken a toe in his left foot but believes he has a chance of being fit in time to at least be on the bench against United.

Neilson said: “I got a whack when I came off the bench at Bath two weeks ago but the following Monday I trained normally and was warming up before the Cambridge game last Tuesday when I felt it again.

“It’s the toe next to my big toe and I was originally told it would be four to six weeks.

“I am seeing the specialist again today and I might have to wear one of those lightweight boots but it has felt a lot better in the last couple of days. It could be two to four weeks which is obviously what I am hoping for.

“Realistically I am not going to be fit to play in the Cup game but I could be on the bench which would be better than sitting in the stand watching.”

Neilson watched Sunday’s fifth round draw with team-mates Kyle McFadzean, Glenn Wilson and Richard Brodie.

“I was with some mates on Saturday when we beat Torquay and the place went bananas and Sunday with the lads was just incredible. We knew we would be playing a Premier League club near the end and when we drew United they were jumping up and down.

“Earlier in my career, I played for Ware and broke my wrist in an FA Cup tie. We got to the first round which was a big achievement for a Ryman One club and drew Kidderminster, who were a league club then, and I was so determined to play in the game that I took the cast off and took loads of painkillers so I could come on as sub in the last minute.

“It was wonderful then to know you have played in the first round but what’s happened this season has been fantastic and I’d love to play some part at Old Trafford.”

Reds welcome back cup-tied trio John Dempster, James Dance and Josh Simpson tonight but Dean Howell serves a one-match ban as they seek to do the double over a Kettering side they beat 2-1 three weeks ago.

And Evans is likely to hand new signing Willie Gibson, who joined Reds on Monday in a £100,000 deal from Dunfermline Athletic, his debut on the right-hand side of midfield.

Crawley (from): Kuipers, Hunt, Mills, McFadzean, Gibson, Bulman, Simpson, Torres, Brodie, Tubbs, Wilson, Dempster, Dance, Simpson, Smith, McAllister, Rents, Rusk.

Kettering (from): Halstead, Graham, Roper, Flanagan, Kelly, Wilson, Solkhon, McKoy, McDonald, Marna, Furlong, Challinor, Christie, Pryor, Blythe, Cunnington, Gueret, O’Neill.