Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon hailed his side’s professionalism as they earned an FA Cup third round date with Tottenham Hotspur after a 2-0 win at Southport on Monday night.
Connor Jennings’ double in the first-half saw Rovers seal a comfortable win in front of a sell-out crowd and the BT Sport TV cameras at Haig Avenue.
Rovers triumph away to their Merseyside neighbours means that on Friday, January 4, Rovers will host Premier League giants Tottenham under the Prenton Park floodlights.
Mellon said: “We were made to work very hard for it over the two ties, so we are delighted to get over the line, fantastic support, great atmosphere, TV cameras out here, we know why they were all here, so we had to be really professional and good at whatever the game asked us.
“We are grateful that the players battled away, and we professionally saw ourselves over the line.
“Every credit to Southport, they never disappointed and we knew it was going to be tough, we knew we were going to have to work hard to get through, and work hard we did, and we are delighted to have that tie in January, but we have a turnaround now and need to get them ready for Saturday’s game."
Mellon went onto praise Jennings’ impact, with the midfielder’s two volleys sealing Rovers progression, before paying tribute to his squad collectively after back-to-back away fixtures.
“They were two terrific goals in any stadium, the technique involved to keep that down (his first goal) and hit the target with that is fantastic, and his movement for the second one is brilliant.
“We’ve played twice in three days with a long journey, every credit to them, they never once moaned or felt sorry for ourselves, we just got on with it and thankfully we got through,” the Scot continued.
Mellon hopes that the tie at home to Mauricio Pochettino’s North Londoners is just the start of the good times coming back to Rovers.
He added: “We have fought hard, we have had some dark times and hit rock-bottom pretty much, so the fightback had to begin, at the time it was started by Gary Brabin, I’ve just continued that and big evenings like Tottenham will go along way to see us keep moving forward because they are the nights that Tranmere were used to many years ago so we need to keep trying to bring these evenings for the fans.”
Tickets for the FA Cup third round tie with Tottenham Hotspur will be announced in due course.