FRASER Franks says Newport County AFC must “embrace” the tag of underdogs when former Premier League champions Leicester City come to Rodney Parade tomorrow.

The two teams go into the FA Cup third-round encounter in very different form, with the Foxes up to seventh in the top flight and County dropping to 12th in League Two.

Because of this – and the three-tier gap between them in the league ladder – the Exiles are out at 10/1 with some bookmakers to cause a shock in front of the BBC cameras.

But defender Franks, 28, believes that Leicester being clear favourites will only help County’s plight.

“We’ve got to embrace the underdog tag,” he said. “We played against Met Police in the first round and the television cameras came to that one for an upset.

“We avoided it but know what it’s like to be on the other side and I think you’d much rather be the underdog.”

When asked if County can send Claude Puel’s men packing,” he added: “I don’t see why not.

“If we can start the game well and stay in it if we go 1-0 down then we’re always a threat.

“If there’s one place you’re going to get goals this season then it’s Rodney Parade, and we can always score goals, we’ve just got to stay in the game.

“We need to be at our best and hopefully they have an off day.

“I’ve not had a big FA Cup run so I’m looking forward to it, and it’s an easy one to get up for.

“This game speaks for itself and if you can’t get up for a Premier League team being a League Two player then you shouldn’t be in the game.

“The main thing is to go out and enjoy it. We can build a positive environment around the city and give the people something to look forward to and something to cling on to.”

Franks was a non-league player at the same time Leicester striker Jamie Vardy was tearing up the National League in 2011-12 while with Fleetwood Town.

And the former Hayes & Yeading centre-back can’t wait to go toe-to-toe with the England international should Vardy not be rested by Foxes boss Puel.

“It’s something I’m relishing,” said Franks. “We were both in the same league about seven or eight years ago. He’s obviously gone way beyond what I have.

“He wasn’t a big name back then. The year he was at Fleetwood I think he ended up scoring 30-odd goals and then got his move to Leicester in the Championship.

“We both stepped up to league football and he’s set a new platform for non-league. He’s a trend-setter for lower league players getting moves.

“He wasn’t a teenager when he did it, he was one of the first to get a move in his 20s, and now you see a lot of Championship, League One and League Two teams dipping into non-league. He’s been a catalyst for that.”