Dave Dempsey excited as Widnes lockhorns with rivals Runcorn Linnets with Lloyd Dean in-line for debut

Widnes manager Dave Dempsey

Widnes manager Dave Dempsey has expressed his excitement with the clash against rivals Runcorn Linnets next as they look to move up the table.

Despite last week’s postponement, Dempsey is looking forward to the clash between the two neighbours separated by just six miles.

Widnes won their last two prior to the Market Drayton cancellation but despite this, there was reasonable confidence against the league’s bottom club.

But Linnets offer a different animal to the one they were due to face.

Calum McIntyre’s side pushed league-leaders Marine far only to be undone by three quickfire goals in the second half.

But for Dempsey, this is a clash he had his eyes on since taking the role.

He told Off The Park: “A big local Derby, a game that the club, the followers and everyone associated with the club wants to win. It’s one of those types of games that you benchmark as a manager when you first take the job, Runcorn around Christmas time as well as Rylands on New Years Day those are the games that I was really looking forward to.

“Our current form gives me more of an excited feel going into the game, if you’d of asked me three weeks ago I’d of been a little apprehensive but the way the lads have turned form around, what we’ve been working on coming into fruition, it adds that bit more excitement.

“In terms of expectation, if we can do what we do well then we’ll give, we’ve proven, any team in this league a run for their money.

“Just need to look at the results and fixtures we’ve had, we go into the derby excited and do what we do. 

“Market Drayton last weekend would’ve been a great game to roll into after two wins but unfortunately for us it was called off because of the weather and that’s no disrespect to Market Drayton you’ve just got to take each game as it comes.

“Prescot Cables have Market Drayton, we’ve got Runcorn at home if we can get the three points that’d be amazing, get one and roll into the next game after having three games without defeat then into the City of Liverpool game, we just need to pick up points as and where we can.

“Hopefully we can start to climb up the table, if we got the three points last weekend we’d of climbed up to 14th, 15th so nine points adrift of the bottom three. I’m not necessarily looking over my shoulder at the minute but we do need to start picking up points especially at this type of year.”

Last week, they added Lloyd Dean from Prescot Cables after the experienced striker struggled to feature for the club.

Despite the lack of game time, Dempsey has heaped praise on the forward and insists despite the lack of minutes, he hasn’t got a point to prove despite following in the footsteps of Alex McMillian and James McCulloch who crossed over to the DCBL Stadium.

He added: “Lloyds a player I’ve known for years, obviously with my Prescot Cables roots he’s a player I’ve followed. He gives us more depth, he’s not necessarily going to give us something we haven’t already got, we’ve got number nines in the squad, he’s going to give up a bit more experience in the group.

“He’ll be available for selection all be it well in training, we are looking at getting him involved straight away. He’s a player I like, he’s busy, he’ll lead the line well, win flick-ons.

“When he was playing in a good Cables side under Brian Richardson, he was massively influential, people can look at his goal scoring form in recent years and question it, you’ve got to remember the group of players he’s been playing with and around but I’m more than certain he’ll come in and do well with us.

“We’re glad to have him on board, give us a bit more stability in the front options and players will have to play for their shirt a bit more now, every addition that will improve the squad is good. 

“For me, he’s got no point to prove. He’s left Prescot Cables in the right way, players have left but Lloyd has give that club more time than any of the old lads, he’s stayed the longest.

“For me Lloyds got no point to prove, he’s massively experienced, very, very good footballer first and foremost. Do I think he’s going to hit the ground running? Yes I do, hopefully we’ll get the best out of him. In terms of point to prove, absolutely not, he’s just needs to do what he does well. 

[Featured image: 617 Photography]

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