Mick McGraa issues Vauxhall Motors warning ahead of Witton Albion curtain-raiser

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Vauxhall Motors manager Mick McGraa has warned his side that they can’t repeat their FA Cup showing against Witton Albion.

Motors return to the Northern Premier League West following their promotion from the North West Counties Premier Division.

McGraa led his side to the title as they finished ahead of Avro, who too won promotion to the Northern Premier League West.

They enter their clash with Jon Macken’s side on the back of their 2-0 defeat away to West Didsbury & Chorlton in the FA Cup.

Despite the disappointment, he felt that the North West Counties side deserved their win. He told Off The Park: “We actually started quite well. We missed a couple of good chances but they were just sharper, you could tell they’d been playing competitive games, we were quite flat and couldn’t get going.

“We made some poor decisions throughout the game, upon reflection they edged it.

“It is a bad record to have in the FA Cup but the league is more important, going into a higher division, it’s going to be tough,” he added as his unwanted record in the competition was extended. “We need to put all our focus on that really.”

Witton finished just outside the playoffs last season and will be looking to build upon their positive showing as they look to return to the Premier Division.

With the quality added to their opponents during the summer, McGraa has warned that his side cannot afford another dip in performance standards.

“The club will just want to be stable in the league and become an NPL side whether it be in this league or the league above in the next couple of years,” he said. “This year it’ll be seeing where we are at Christmas, there’s some really good, experienced teams in there. We’ve got to be at it every week, we can’t afford to be half-hearted.

“We can’t be like we was on Saturday, Witton are a top team with great players, great manager as well and we’ll show them respect but we’ll be looking to win, as we do every game.

“If we perform how we’ve done in pre-season we’ll do well, if we perform as we did on Saturday it could be a long day.

“I think they’ve strengthened from last season, they’re stronger, we’ve watched them. I like the way they play, they’ve got Tom Pope up front – he’s a handful who we played against twice.

“It’s all new, we’re at home, we’ve got to make our home a fortress and make it not a very nice place to come, and get three points.”

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