Grimsby Town ready for tonight's Senior Cup final clash with Lincoln City
FRANKIE Artus wants to ensure Mariners fans can give their Lincoln City work-mates "a bit of banter" again tomorrow morning.
The midfielder, his team-mates and hundreds of Grimsby Town fans will converge on Sincil Bank tonight (7pm) for the Lincolnshire Senior Cup final.
Victory at Scunthorpe United seven days ago set up a repeat of last summer's 4-3 final triumph over the same opponents at the same venue.
And Artus, who played 81 minutes of that final, is desperate to give the visiting supporters another night – and following morning – to remember.
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"It was a great game last time, so the lads can't wait to experience that again," he told the Telegraph.
"The fans were amazing – we've realised just how much it means to them after last year.
"That rivalry is pretty intense and the Grimsby Town supporters obviously want to go into work tomorrow and give a bit of banter to their 'mates' who are Lincoln fans.
"We know it's still like a friendly but we want to win every game, especially against our local rivals.
"A win will give the fans a lot to cheer about and give us lots of confidence going into the season.
"It's always nice to win a trophy and winning is a good habit to have.
"If you can instill that mentality into a team, it's always a positive thing and great for morale."
However, the 23-year-old admits that the Mariners need to improve on Saturday's disappointing 4-2 win at Barton Town Old Boys if they are to have any chance.
That lethargic performance against the Northern Counties East League side was in stark contrast to the victory over Scunthorpe and preceding draw with Championship Hull City.
He continued: "We're going to have to lift our game massively for Lincoln and have the right attitude going into it.
"Saturday was a very different opposition to what we've got used to -– we've been playing sides from a few divisions higher, but we were the bigger team going into that game.
"We tried a few different things and scored a few goals but I didn't think the performance was anywhere near as good as it has been in the previous matches."
Despite that limp team display at the Euronics Ground, Artus has no doubt about the Mariners' intentions for the upcoming Blue Square Bet Premier campaign.
"Talking with the other lads, we're definitely targeting promotion this season," the Bristolian added.
"I guess we'll be one of the favourites to go up and as we're getting more players in, the squad is looking stronger and stronger.
"Pre-season has mostly gone well, other than Saturday's little blip, and we're confident we can start the season better than last year."