STEVE Wilkes has said that an FA Vase encounter with Newcastle Benfield on Saturday is the biggest game of his tenure as Northwich Victoria manager.

A place in the last 16 is a prize on offer to the winners.

“This is already my best run in the competition but I don’t want it to end here,” said the Vics boss.

“We want to go all the way.”

Vics travel to the north east to take on opponents the bookmakers rate as one of the favourites to lift the trophy at Wembley in May.

They will be greeted by in-form hosts that have already eliminated two teams from the North West Counties League’s top-flight, including 1874 Northwich, to reach this stage.

But the visitors have a record to be proud of too; they have progressed through four rounds without conceding a goal.

READ > Newcastle Benfield v Vics: FA Vase match preview

Wilkes said: “Some of our lads won’t have played in a game as big of this, but we have others with plenty of know-how too.

“Our attitude has to be right from the first minute, and if it is then we’ve got enough about us to win the game.

“How we prepare is important.

“The information we’ve given to the lads has to be taken on board and acted on.

“If they don’t, the homework we’ve done will be wasted.”

Newcastle sit seventh in the Northern League’s first division and are unbeaten in their past 14 matches.

They are attempting to reach the fifth round for only the third time, and lost at this stage of last season’s edition following a replay with Coleshill.

READ > I won't celebrate if I score against Vics, says Brayson

“Lots of people looking in from the outside will think we haven’t much of a chance,” said Wilkes.

“Newcastle will be a tough opponent, and a physical one too.

“They’ve got two or three decent players as well, but then so have we.

“We’ve identified one or two weaknesses that we might be able to exploit, and I’m sure they’d tell you the same about our flaws in our game.”

Vics lost 1-0 at home to Barnoldswick on Sunday, a defeat that followed a thumping 4-0 win at Irlam on Boxing Day.

Wilkes is optimistic he will have Andrew Fitzgerald (hamstring), Kieron Kenny (head) and Rob Doran (thigh) available again, but Darrhyl Mason (back) is a major doubt.

Whatever happens, he has urged everybody connected to the club to enjoy a big occasion.

He said: “If nothing else the lads must get back on the coach afterwards and not have any regrets.

“The fans are buzzing, and have been talking about the game from the moment the draw was made.”