FC CLACTON boss Tom Austin wants his players to show “desire, work-rate and intensity” in their FA Vase showdown at Risborough Rangers.

The sides are set to meet in a first-round clash at the Buckinghamshire side’s BEP Stadium on Saturday.

Both are in red-hot form, with Clacton having won three in a row after brushing aside neighbours Brantham Athletic 3-1 under the floodlights on Friday night.

Rangers, meanwhile, are top of uhlsport Hellenic League division one east - step six of the non-league pyramid - with seven wins and a draw from their eight matches.

It promises to be a tough test but Austin is confident his team can build on their earlier Vase successes against Southend Manor and Redbridge.

“Risborough are going to be a strong side, especially at home, so we need to show the same desire, work-rate and intensity, with and without the ball, that we produced against Brantham,” said the Clacton boss.

“They might be the level below but there are some brilliant teams at step six. We know that from our Thurlow Nunn League.

“It’s going to take a special performance but I believe in the lads and dearly want to stay in the competition.

“We’ve got to turn up with the right attitude and mentality.

“It’s a long way to go and roll over but I won’t let that happen. I’ll have them at it from the start.

“We’re stepping into the unknown a bit, because of the distance between us.

“Ideally, I would have liked to see them and I don’t know if they’ll have done their homework on us.”

Clacton are riding on the crest of a wave and their impressive victory against Brantham came thanks to first-half goals from Mekhi McKenzie (two) and Jordan Lartey.

Now the challenge is to keep the winning sequence going - this weekend and then, barring a replay, on Tuesday night when Whitton United visit the Austin Arena.

“Momentum and consistency are so important; it’s about working hard and doing the right things week in, week out,” said Austin.

“We can’t afford to be a Jekyll and Hyde side.

“We’ve got to try and be top-notch every week.

“That’s what we’ve got to strive for if we’re going to have a positive season.

“The lads are getting used to playing together and, as a club, we’re punching above our weight, when you consider the kind of figures being bandied around in this league.

“But I believe we’re capable of another top-ten finish and that’s what we’re aiming for.

“We’re on the right path and now it’s a case of whether we can keep it going.

“That’s our challenge because you never know what can happen if you put a winning run together. It can set you up for the season.”

Friday’s success means Clacton are still unbeaten at home, both in the league and cup, and Austin wants that dominance to continue against Whitton.

They are also at home on October 19, against Godmanchester Rovers.

“We’re still unbeaten at home and that’s something to be proud of,” he said.

“We want to keep it going as long as possible, to make it a hard place for teams to come to.”