A pair of Salford City stars hope to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat and kick-off their campaign for the Manchester Cup.

The Ammies will be looking to make a strong start as they host Irlam at Moor Lane to end the 38 year long wait for the title.

Irlam have lost only one of their last 6 matches and sit comfortably mid-table in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division.

Both sides met in the first round of the cup last year, with Salford coming out on top with a 4-0 victory. Right-back Michael Nottingham believes tonight’s clash will be a test for the squad.

“They have some decent players and so are going to try and make it hard for us. It’s a big game for them to play and they’re going to want to try and upset the party. It will be a tough game in that sense but I think we can do the job properly.”

Salford hope to bounce back from their loss at home to Leamington on Saturday, which upset the side’s 11 game unbeaten run.

Mark Shelton added: “I think after the defeat people had their opinions on what had happened and it was all a bit down. On Monday the mood still wasn’t as it should be, but we have to move on as quick as we can. We are ready for tonight.”

The last time Salford won the Manchester Cup it had a different name and so did they, still going by Salford Amateurs. However, Michael Nottingham is reassured that the side have got what it takes to go all the way.

“I think it’s a realistic target. It’s a good chance for a lot of players to get minutes as well. We have a very good squad even with the academy. It’s realistic for us to try and win it just one game at a time and try as best as we can.”

Salford City and Irlam kick off at 19.45 tonight at Moor Lane.

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