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Reds looking to make it a great eight at Northwich Victoria

Fresh from their FA Cup heroics last week, FC United are looking to extend the club’s best run of consecutive victories since our North West Counties days in Spring 2007 by making it eight in a row at Northwich Victoria this Saturday.

There are no fresh injury concerns as the Reds take on the Cheshire side, who are currently in fourth place and one of the favourites for the title. Goalkeeper Zach Hibbert will be unavailable for three weeks after having an operation to reset a long-term broken nose injury, Phil Neville has resumed gym training whilst he recovers from a broken foot, and Steve Torpey is waiting for a confirmation date to undergo a groin operation.

Richard Battersby is in training and will be playing for the club when available as attends to a personal issue whilst long-term absentee Ludovic Quistin has had a successful operation and is hoping to make a return to competitive football in March at the earliest. The rest of the squad is fit and raring to go including new signing Matthew Wolfenden who is looking to make his second appearance for FC United.

Whilst the Reds are enjoying a fantastic run of form, the Vics are suffering slightly after being the early pacesetters in the Evo-Stik Premier Division. The Vics have won just one point from the last nine with a 2-1 defeat at Frickley last weekend and a crushing 6-1 home defeat at the hands of Kendal the week before.

However, Northwich will undoubtedly be hoping that the visit of United can bring out the best in them. Manager Andy Preece said: "It’s obviously the biggest game for us at home this season because of the travelling support of FC United.

"The atmosphere that they create is fantastic. They make a fantastic noise and are really passionate. It’s a game that everybody is looking forward to. We’ll be hoping to have a number of our players back, and will hopefully get a result, but I’m sure it will be great game whatever.”

Preece added: “I just want to say well done to FC United for their cup run. They’re representing the league and they’ve shown the strength of the league. They were fantastic against Rochdale. We know what they’re going through now. I think they’ve done fantastic and hopefully they can progress and get a big name out of the hat."

The two clubs have met once before, in the fourth qualifying round of last season’s FA Cup. Despite a reasonably close game, the Vics ended up dumping United out of the competition with two late goals in a 3-0 victory. However, as Preece noted it is United who are emulating Northwich’s cup exploits this year.

United’s assistant manager Roy Soule believes hard-work, team spirit and patience are the reasons behind United’s good run. He said: “We’ve got a nice strength in depth to the squad now. It needed freshening up, new faces bringing in and a new fitness regime. It’s not just ability that makes a football team you need the right personas too and we’ve got that now.

“These lads needed a bit of time to settle in, so that might explain why we’ve seen a few peaks and troughs but now we have found the right method, the right style of play and they have got to know each other. Karl (Marginson), Daz (Lyons) and I have never had our doubts but Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s still standing now. We want to build a team that will last and you have to have patience to do that.”

Soule is confident that the players will not let their FA Cup success go to their heads and will be up for a fight against league opposition too. He said: "We won’t be getting carried away on the crest of a wave. The lads have been back in training working just as hard this week and they want to win every game they play in."

Northwich Victoria versus FC United of Manchester is this Saturday at the Victoria Stadium with kick-off at 3pm, tickets are available from the Vic’s clubhouse on the day. Get yourself to that football ground to cheer on our FA Cup heroes.

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First Posted ~ 16:19 Fri 12 Nov 2010
News ID ~ 3222
Last Updated ~ 16:19 Fri 12 Nov 2010