‘We need to make sure we get through’ – Bootle target FA Cup progression at AFC Liverpool’s expense

Bootle goalscorer Elliott Hughes
Bootle goalscorer Elliott Hughes

Bootle FC manager Joe Doran has insisted that the FA Cup is the “number one” priority for the club this season.

They face city rivals AFC Liverpool in the Preliminary Round of the competition after their opponents overcame Padiham in the extra-preliminary round.

Just one step separates the two sides having both received upward movement as part of the FA’s pyramid restructure.

Bootle started off their campaign in the Northern Premier League with one win and one defeat, falling to a late-winner against Mossley on the opening day before beating Kendall thanks to goals from Will Bell, Elliott Hughes and Jack McGowan.

With their lack of involvement in the FA Vase due to their promotion and the unlikelihood of a run in the FA Trophy with the Bucks “rank outsiders”, the FA Cup journey is an high on the list of ambitions.

“I said to the lads the FA Cup is massive, we don’t compete in the FA Vase and we’re probably one of the rank outsiders for the FA Trophy the way the formation is, so getting a few good wins in the FA Cup is paramount,” Doran told Off The Park.

“Not just finances but breeding confidence in the players, we’ve got a tough game against AFC Liverpool, we know them well and it’ll be a tasty derby it can go either way on the day, we’ve just got to hope it goes our way.

READ MORE: AFC Liverpool seek FA Cup redemption after midweek league disappointment

“It all depends on attitude which is what I say to the players every game, you [can] have the best players in the world and if they walk on the pitch and haven’t got the right attitude any one could turn them over so it’s all about going into the game, doesn’t matter who it is, the attitude has to be spot on if we want to go through.

“We’ve got to be competing, every player has to give 100 per cent.

“I’ve said to them [after Kendall] our attention turns to Friday now and I want to be in the hat come Mondays, there’s no two ways about it. Whether it’s brilliant or a scrappy one, we need to make sure we’re through to the next round.

“A run in the FA Cup is massive for confidence and boost club coffers and raising the profile locally and regionally, it’s high on the agenda.

“It’s probably number one priority, in terms of this season a run in the FA Cup.”