Michael Ellison lauds Widnes five-star FA Cup performance ahead ‘tough’ Leek Town challenge

Widnes manager Michael Ellison celebrates 22-23

Widnes manager Michael Ellison was delighted by his sides showing in the FA Cup but notes their underdogs status ahead of their season opener against Leek Town.

The Whites cruised past Longridge Town in their replay as they hit the North West Counties side for five.

“Over the two legs, we were the better side,” Ellison said speaking to Off The Park. “Longridge are a good side and play good football, I was a bit disappointed because we should’ve put the game to bed. 

“Over the two games, we’ve created enough chances to win three or four games, you hope that if we do the same things those chances will be taken and they were. I think all of the front four scored which was positive, I’m a little bit disappointed to concede late on and not keep the clean sheet. 

“All in all, it’s just about winning the game and getting into the next round, so I’m happy.

“It’s been a long time coming, towards the end of last season we were speaking quite a lot, we were creating chances and people who listen to my interviews would think I must be lying. 

“We have been creating chances but that final bit hasn’t been there, that’s not just the finishing, it’s maybe getting into the areas and not creating the chance when we should. It was pleasing, it’s early doors and we start the league with a really tough game away at Leek. It’s good to score goals but the main thing was to qualify and get into the hat for the next round.”

Widnes begin their Northern Premier League West campaign away to playoff semi-finalists
Leek Town.

Ellison’s side were handed a reprieve, keeping them in the division, after Burscough’s demotion. But a feather in the cap of the Widnes boss saw them piece together an impressive run that saw them move off the foot of the table to the brink of safety. 

With a difficult start to the season in the offing, the former Runcorn Linnets and City of Liverpool manager is under no illusions of their quality.

He said: “In the first four games we’ve got Leek, Bootle, Mossley and Clitheroe, it doesn’t get any easier especially away from home. They’re a really good side and I think they’ve been in the playoffs god knows how many years, no doubt they’ll be up there again. 

“I know they’ve recruited, kept the majority of the old squad, it’ll be a tough ask and a tough game. But look, hopefully we’ll go into it a bit more confident, it’s always tough there and we’re going under no illusions. 

“If you get it wrong you can be on the end of a hiding, we’ve got to stick to the game plan and try get a result.”

[Featured image: James Gilbin]

For enquiries: info@off-the-park.co.uk@OffThePark_