RAMSBOTTOM manager Jon Robinson is hoping to make his long awaited debut in the dug-out when his side host Northwich Victoria in the Doodson Sports Cup third round tonight.

The Rams boss was given the job on January 4 but has seen matches against Trafford and Belper Town called off meaning he has yet to take charge of a competitive fixture.

And with the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium under snow yesterday, Robinson admits he may have to wait a little bit longer to get a taste of management.


“I just want a game now,” he said. “The game is in doubt but hopefully we get a bit of luck and we can go ahead and play.

“We haven’t played for a couple of weeks now and you can train all you want but it is not the same thing as playing matches.”

If the game does beat the weather Robinson will name a full-strength side as he looks to book a place in the last eight of the competition against a side second in the division below.

Robinson added: “We won’t be under-estimating them. I am not sure there is a favourite in the game. They have been ticking off games and getting good results and we haven’t been playing.

“We know it will be tough. They are a good side and are going well in their division. If the game goes ahead there won’t be any squad rotation, all the players want to get on the pitch and play.”

Robinson, who saw several first team regulars leave in the wake of former managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s decision to join Salford City, has continued to strengthen his squad with Chris Bagley the latest to join.bis The attacking midfielder has switched from Ashton Athletic and could make his debut tonight.

The Rams signed George Bowyer and Luke Heron last week.

Robinson added: “I was fully prepared for people to leave when I came here but I think we have brought some good players in. If the right players are out there and available then we will continue to look to bring people in. I think you always have to be looking but we have got a good squad now.”

The Rams have slipped into the bottom half of the Evo-Stik League Premier Division table in recent weeks but have a host of games in hand on the sides above them and Robinson is adamant that a play-off push remains the target despite a 13-point gap to the top five.

“I don’t want to consolidate,” added Robinson. “If that was the case I wouldn’t be here. We have a talented squad and I want to win games.

“We will keep looking up and aim for the play-offs. We have games in hand and I think it will be the end of next month before you get a clear picture of the table. I still believe we can get in the play-offs.”

Northwich Victoria warmed up for their cup clash with Ramsbottom by easing to a 5-1 win over Padiham on Saturday.

The Storks, currently bottom of the Evo-Stik League Division One North, have moved to strengthen their squad with the signing of 20-year-old Chappy Massamba from French club FC Goussainville.

Steve Wilkes’ side are without a midweek match and return to action on Saturday when they host Radcliffe Borough in the league.