Michael Ellison discusses FA Cup clash with Trafford following Bootle win

Widnes celebrate goal vs Bootle

Widnes manager Michael Ellison has conceded that he will be forced to rotate his side for their upcoming FA Cup clash against Trafford. 

The Whites returned to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 win over Bootle after narrowly losing to Leek Town on the opening day.  

Matt Van Wyk scored twice for Ellison’s side as they inflicted a first league defeat of the season for David McNabb’s side on Wednesday. 

After losing in their curtain raiser to Leek, the Widnes boss was pleased that despite their misfortune, they continued to perform in their clash with Bootle. 

He told Off The Park: “The defeat against Leek, there was lots of positives from the game and it was tough to be critical of the lads because they give it everything. They put a really good performance in and sometimes, we just get the result that I don’t think we deserve. 

“I thought we deserved something out of the game, especially with our second half performance, I thought we were the better side. 

“You know you’re going to have to go there and defend well because they’re a very good side, I thought the goal was poor from our point of view but it was important that we took the positives into the Bootle game. 

“The lads done that and they started the game the way that they finished the second half against Leek so that was pleasing,” Ellison added. 

Cameron Terry made an important stop in the early exchanges as he thwarted Bootle’s Ben Hodkinson. From that moment, the Widnes boss believes that his side were deserving of the three points. 

“They had a chance early on, a mistake from our centre-back and they go through one-v-one, it was a big save from Cam [Terry], it’s a big moment in the game and if they score, it could be a different game,” he continued. 

“I speak about fine margins and that’s another one, in the end it was comfortable. After that, I don’t think they had a shot really, we had good chances and could’ve scored a couple more goals but the clean sheet was massive.

“In the first-half, we stopped them playing, we pressed and creative opportunities. In the second-half, we just sat in because we knew they were going to come out, we knew they’d put it on us and we withstood that, it was important. 

“It was pleasing to get over the line, I think we were resolute and lads learned from past games.”

Their emphatic win in the FA Cup replay against Longridge Town set up the all-Northern Premier League West encounter. 

Ellison has his eye on a run in the competition and they have an opportunity to do that with a win at the DCBL Stadium. 

However, with the visit of Danny Caldecott’s side on Saturday, it will mark the third game in a week which calls for rotation for his side. 

Ellison revealed: “It would be nice, we want to win the game that’s for sure. Trafford are a good side, they’ve got some really good football, have goals in them but we’re going to have to use the squad.

“Last year, we had to flog lads because we had no choice, we’ve got a few more options this season and we want to keep things fresh, lads can’t play three games a week, so we will rotate. 

“The lads who come in won’t necessarily weaken us so it’s a chance to get a decent cup run but also a decent chance for lads who haven’t had the minutes they wanted or deserved as well.

“I’ve seen a lot of them, I think they might have one or two missing, unavailable and have one or two back. 

“Danny [Caldecott] might rotate it but they’ve made a really good start to the season, they were unlucky against Clitheroe the other night but we’ve just got to concentrate on Saturday, concentrate on our strengths and take the positives out of the previous four. If you can do that well, we’ll have a good chance of getting a result.”

[Featured image: Paul Moran]

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