‘We’ll be in good spirits’ – Widnes manager Dave Dempsey weighs up Bury AFC FA Cup test

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Widnes manager Dave Dempsey has set his sights on the next round of the FA Cup as he looks to dampen Bury AFC’s spirits.

The Pheonix club host Widnes on Sunday in the FA Cup in what is their first campaign in the competition since their rebirth.

Widnes were beaten on their opening day by rivals Runcorn Linnets before Stephen Rigby’s wonderstrike secured a point for the Whites against Bootle.

On their opening two, Dempsey told Off The Park: “I think we were expecting two tough games. Runcorn Linnets away first game of the season is never going to be easy, looking back – I wasn’t there but I watched the videos – I feel like we probably could’ve got more from the game albeit a 3-1 scoreline it doesn’t reflect the game as a whole.

“I think it was a poor game, both sides were bang average on the day, not a lot of football was played. We’ve had some very, very good chances just not capitalised and they’ve obviously got the penalty and scored at the death when we’re going for the equaliser.

“Bootle, very happy with 1-0 down at half-time then change of fortunes in the second half when we’ve been the better side. We could’ve got more from the game but think it would’ve been unfair to beat Bootle, I think a draw’s the best result for both sides, it was played in the right way, two sides going toe-to-toe.

“On the whole, will I take a point? We would’ve wanted more but the way the cookies crumbled, we’ll take a point and move on there’s no problem with it.”

When asked about their feelings following their start to the campaign, the Widnes boss revealed: “After Saturday, it was a bit of negativity about and the lads were frustrated but I said to the players before Tuesday, we need control our expectation and aggression and make sure we’ve got positive energy.

“I think the lads did that, they’ve conceded to a free-kick that never was, in my opinion, in the 45th, 46th-minute, we’ve restarted the first half and the referee’s blown for half-time.

“We’ve regrouped, they’ve shown that togetherness, they’ve not got overly frustrated and they’ve had that belief that what we’re doing is the right way. Last night (against Bootle) could be the kickstart to a little run but I was really happy with the boys. They can go and achieve whatever they want it’s on them.”

Ahead of their trip to Bury this weekend, Dempsey said: “First and foremost, we want to win. We’re going to approach as organised and prepared as we can be.

“Bury are a good side, have some good players, playing in the league below but I don’t think that reflects the club as a whole. Evidently, they’re a good side, got a very very good following.

“We just need to go and apply ourselves and not get overawed but the occasion, are we capable of going and winning the game? Yes, we are.

“Hopefully we can go and progress, I don’t think the club have been past this stage of the FA Cup – which is a milestone we want to be breaking. We want to get through and have a good tie in the next round, see how far we can go in that cup.

“After Tuesday, we’ll be in good spirits, they fought hard, played good football against Bootle, if they can show that desire, hunger and togetherness we can go there on Sunday, win and progress into that next round.”

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