Marine manager Neil Young has reiterated the importance of the visit of Nantwich Town as Paul Carden’s side visits the Marine Travel Arena this weekend.
The Mariners booked their place in their first Liverpool Senior Cup final since 2018 on Monday when they dispatched holders Southport as second-half substitute Louis Britton’s hat-trick inspired them to victory against higher opposition.
With a date in the final, although still unconfirmed, to look forward to, their attention returns to the battle for Northern Premier League playoffs. They return to league action after comfortably beating Whitby Town 3-0 away from home last week.
Joe Hardy continued his goalscoring start to life in Crosby before Ben Hodkinson opened his Marine account with a header as Jordan Lussey rounded off the scoring from the spot.
They currently sit three points behind Gainsborough Trinity, who currently occupy the final playoff, going into the closing stages of the season.
After the high of reaching the final on Monday, Young has urged his side to continue their standards.
He told Off The Park: “It’s just a good win against a team in a higher league, you take it and move on. It’s something to look forward to towards the end of the month, we’re still awaiting the date and venue, but it’s a good win against a good club.
“We’ve got to take that forward now, we’re the ones playing catch-up in the league, we’re the ones who’ve come off the pace a little bit.
“It’s a tough game, they’re fighting to stay up, we’re fighting to make the playoffs. Since Paul’s come in, even though they’ve lost two games of football, they’ve lost them very narrowly against Bamber Bridge and Hyde so their form has improved,” he added on Saturday’s visitors.
“We’ve just got to worry about ourselves, we know every game is a tough game and in most occasions, the teams are playing for something we’ve got to show everyone what we’re playing for and want it a little bit more than the opposition.”
Twenty points separate the two sides as Carden looks to steer the Dabbers to escape after taking charge last month. They’re inside the bottom four, a point away from safety going into the final games of the season.
Despite the difference in league position, the Marine boss isn’t concerned about overconfidence following Monday’s win.
He continued: “It won’t dictate the lads, it’ll only give them confidence – I don’t see any negative from. One thing this group isn’t is complacent, I’ve only had to look at them once this season for the performance which is Liversedge away.
“At this level of football, only looking at your side once and questioning them, in my opinion, is good. They won’t get carried away, they know what’s at stake and I’m sure they’ll be doing everything they can to beat Nantwich but saying it and doing it are two different things.
“We’re looking to win the game that’s all we can do, we’re looking for as similar as a performance we can get to Monday in terms of work ethic.
“Every game is different, each team sets up differently, Nantwich were watching us on Monday so they’ll know more about us but likewise, it’s not often I play the same team twice or the same formation twice. That’s why I say it’s more around us about what we do than Nantwich.
“They’ve got a good side, they’ve been playing three at the back, five in midfield and two experienced lads up top – Harrison and Cockerline – they’ve got Cooke back from Rylands who has great ability, particularly from dead ball situations,” he said on Nantwich’s quality.
“They’ve got great players who can cause real problems, the results and performances apart from the two – against top six sides – proves that.
“Every game is difficult, it’s what Marine do for me, we’re at home so we’ve got to take the game to them, we know what’s at stake it’s pointless worrying about the opposition. We respect them, we respect the change they’ve made, but it’s about us.”