Manager Stephen Howson said that Stretford Paddock will have “a formidable task” to qualify for the Rhodes Cup quarter-finals when his side visit Abacus Media on Saturday (2pm KO).

After back-to-back 4-0 victories, Paddock have propelled themselves into a position where a victory on the weekend will guarantee progression to the quarter-final stages.

With Group D’s top two sides playing each other on the weekend – Manchester Polonia and North Walkden – a victory for either team would mean Paddock would just need a draw to escape the group.

Isaac Buckley-Ricketts on form as Paddock run riot

But with no guarantees, Howson’s men will be setting their sights on nothing but victory, fully in the knowledge that Abacus also need three points to move into the next round.

“We’ve got a formidable task,” said Howson, “Abacus sound like they’re a good side, they’ve been doing well in the Premier Division before that got cut short.

“They’ve gone and took on a team today and put five past them where we got shut out, so you can’t take them lightly, you’ve got to go and take the game to them. You’ve got to go and try and beat them and that is exactly what we’ll be doing.

“I think it is probably also in their hands [Abacus] that if they beat us that they’re in the quarter-finals so it’s all on the cards for both teams here. Both teams are going to go for it, maybe that suits us because a draw is not enough for them, I think they have to come out and beat us, they have to come and score. Sound, let’s go toe-to-toe, let’s have a tear up, and let’s see who’s standing at the end.”

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Ethan James

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