Runcorn Linnets manager Dave Wild has sent a bullish message as they go into their FA Trophy clash with Spennymoor Town as underdogs.
Linnets have been impressive under Wild this season and they sit fourth in the Northern Premier League West table.
This weekend’s trip to the North East is their second of the Trophy campaign as they continue their efforts in the tournament.
Saturday will be Runcorn Linnets‘ fifth match in the competition as Wild’s side look to further cement themselves in the history books. The win over Belper saw them reach the Second Round for the first time.
Despite the difference in the football pyramid, Wild says his side aren’t going there to make the numbers up.
He told Off The Park: “It’s important, every game is, I want to beat Chester, I want to win Saturday and I want to win on Tuesday against Macclesfield. I try not to put any unnecessary pressure on players, staff and myself but we go one game at a time.
“Whatever game is next is the one we want to win, it’s a really, really tough challenging but exciting seven days. We’ve got two teams from the Conference North then unquestionably the best outfit in our league and the club everyone will be chasing come May.
“It’s an opportunity to see how far we’ve come as a group and what we need to do to improve if we are to close gaps on these clubs going forward, which is certainly what we want to do.
“We’re looking forward to it, they’ve earned the right our lads to get an opportunity of a bigger tie – Spennymoor is certainly that.
“We’ve been at it since round one, we went to Workington away, North Shields away, we’ve beat Ossett, Belper, four games to get here and it’s their first,” he added. “I’m really happy for the lads to get the tie but we’re not going to Spennymoor to make the numbers up, we’re going to try win the game and I’ve said that till I’m blue in the face about any team we play, I back our lads to perform.
“We may have to tweak our system but we’re going up there full of confidence, we’ve lost one game in 15 or 16 and there’s no reason to go there to think shut up shop and see if we can cling on, we’re going up there to win. It’s exciting, we’re looking forward to it but on the flip side, we’re going up there to get in the third round.”
Last weekend they continued their impressive league form as they ran out 2-0 winners Kidsgrove Athletic.
“We were solid again,” Wild said on the win. “We had a bit of change in personnel in terms of the side, bringing Tom Moore in who has been unlucky with injuries, he’s worked hard to get into the side and the introduction of him and a second forward complimented us against a good physically outfit.
‘I think they’ll be in the mix come the end of the season but I was really pleased with it to be honest, we controlled the game throughout without being spectacular, it wasn’t the game of the season by any stretch.
“But we ultimately got the three points and we’re at that stage of the season where that’s quite important going about our business, getting games, goals and ticking points off. Pleased with the result, we just keep ticking now.”
Striker Jamie Rainford was instrumental in the win as he fired home a brace to take him to the top of the Northern Premier League West scorers chart. His double took him to 13 for the season in all competitions.
Wild lauded the contribution of the forward, he said: “Jamie’s outstanding, he could go to any team in the league and score goals, he’s the leading scorer in the league as it stands.
“He’s a no brainer to have in the side, his experience, determination to score, be in the right areas, it’s something he’s always had in his locker, we’re really lucky to have him as a group, I’m lucky to have him as my assistant manager, he helps me with the feelings on the pitch.
“If we’re having a bad performance, he can get messages across on the pitch without being in the dugout, he’s in a position, like me, where it’s an opportunity to develop in the dugout, winning means everything to him and more.
“It’s like having an extra person in the dugout on the pitch so he’s an absolute dream, fittest in camp and he just leads by example – his goals are no surprise to me, he’s on 13 in all competitions and it’s not even December.”