Runcorn Linnets manager Dave Wild has his sights on winning at all costs as they host Ossett Town in the FA Trophy this weekend.
The Northern Premier League East side travel to the APEC Taxis Stadium looking to disappoint the home crowd and book their place in the First Round.
For Linnets, they have only moved beyond the Third Round Qualifying once since their reformation after Calum McIntyre’s side bowed out of the competition on penalties after a defeat to Morpeth Town.
After beating Colne last weekend, they now have won five out of their last six as they enjoy a solid run of form.
Wild is pleased to finally bring cup football back to Runcorn but is under no illusions that it will be a walkover.
He told Off The Park: “The thing for me, I just want to win and everyone at the club wants to win, we’ve been given a tie finally at home which is something I feel like we’ve earned.
“They’ll see drawing us as a good tie, we can’t go in thinking we’re cock sure of ourselves, arrogant and expecting to win because it’ll backfire and bite us on the backside.
“Ossett will look at us, we’re a good tie for them and it’ll be a good game, we’re going into the game aiming to win but we go into every game to win, I’ve said it before, if I was playing Man City I’d want to beat them.
“It’s a great opportunity for the club, great opportunity for the players, great opportunity for everyone involved, we’ve got to do our best to make the most over it.
“We’re in a good position, we’ve won five from six – obviously the Bootle draw – so we’re unbeaten with five wins in six,” he added on their recent form.
“We’re in a good place and I never doubted it in terms of the group, it was more when was it going to come? Are we going to get that strike of luck? I feel like we might be getting that now, we were quite unlucky to not win against Bootle, we clung on for dear life in periods, that shows the effort and commitment that our players put into to take it to only nicking a draw with 10 men for so long.
“The unbeaten run is positive but it’s only positive if it carries on because at some point it’ll end, it’s up to us that we keep it going for as long as we can, we certainly don’t want it ending this week it’s over to us.
“We’re really looking forward, I love cup football, it’s something I’ve always thrived off to be honest. It’s do or die on the day and there’s nothing better than that rather than drawing or taking it to a replay, blah, blah.
“I’ve had good cup ties with Ossett before with Mossley, really looking forward to it, I’m just really glad for the fans. It’s down to us now to leave everything on the line and get through the competition.”
In recent weeks, the numbers have begun to steadily rise in terms of attendance at Linnets and with good reason after impressive displays throughout their recent run – including their wins away at Workington and Noth Shields.
After their recent support, Wild wants to use Saturday as a way to give back to their supporters.
He continued: “Our crowd are outstanding, the gates back up to the back end of last season, that was always going to take a little bit of time whilst they adjusted to new staff, new management, new group of players.
“When you’re doing well, more people come, that’s just how it is, the fans are huge for us, we’ve got a great singing section at the top end of the ground.
“It’s down to us on the pitch to keep producing performances, making them supporters want to come back, support us and they’re certainly doing that in numbers at the minute and we can’t thank them enough.”
Sam Heathcote and Jamie Rainford’s late penalty secured the win against Jon Macken’s side last time out. The win saw them move further into the playoff spots in the early stages of the season.
But it’s the foundations from back to front which have been the most pleasing aspect for Runcorn and the goalkeeper, Danny Taberner, came in for praise from Wild.
He continued: “At the end of the day, I won’t say this for the first time, I don’t care how we win, I just care about winning.
“Something we’ve really been trying to press on a little bit more is clean sheets, we’re not a free-flowing team, we’re not going to score five every week so we have to be really, really strong, rock solid at the back and for me this season, Tabs [Danny Taberner] has probably been our best player – most important player.
“He’s got the just rewards for his performances in terms of clean sheets so I think for me, getting the clean sheet, getting through the game but Colne, I don’t think their league position justifies what they are as a side and a club. We’re really happy, a good positive result for us, clean sheet onto the next one.”