LIAM PALMER is keen to unlock the doors that can lead Tranmere Rovers to an FA Cup showdown with one of the Premier League elite later in the season.
The young midfielder sees Sunday’s televised first-round tie at Braintree Town as an obstacle on the journey that will be difficult but not impossible to overcome.
Palmer said: “If we can put an FA Cup run together then we have a chance to play some of the best teams in the world.
“The likes of Manchester United and Chelsea will be joining the competition in round three and we want to be in that draw with them. I would love to play against one of those big teams in the Cup.”
Palmer and his teammates are due to be given a briefing today on the Blue Square Bet League Premier Division outfit from Essex who have reached the first round of the competition for just the second time in their history.
However, Rovers can’t call on the usual first-hand assessment of the opposition provided by chief scout Dave Philpotts.
The postponement of Braintree’s match against Wrexham, 90 minutes prior to kick-off time last Saturday because of waterlogging of the Cressing Road pitch, meant Philpotts made a largely wasted journey.
Rovers have been studying DVDs of some recent Braintree games, although manager Ronnie Moore makes the point that he does not like to dwell on the opposition in team talks.
Palmer said: “Maybe they called the game off last Saturday to make sure we don’t know what they are up to!
“We will treat them with the respect we give every team. It’s going to be a great occasion for everyone and the fact that the game is being shown live on TV adds a bit of spice to it.
“We are not the underdogs so it is important we do things right, play to our strengths and hopefully that will work for us on the day.”
Palmer, a product of Sheffield Wednesday’s youth development set-up, played in a couple of FA Cup ties for the Owls last season, against Aldershot and Blackpool.
After making 20 appearances in helping Wednesday clinch promotion to the Championship, Palmer was released on loan to Tranmere this summer in an arrangement that runs until the beginning of January.
Palmer, no relation to the former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Carlton Palmer, is happy to consider the prospect of the loan arrangement with Tranmere being extended until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old has established himself as a regular in Moore’s team and developed a midfield partnership with James Wallace that has been one of the essential building blocks of Tranmere’s strong start to the season.
“Playing week in, week out is fantastic for me,” Palmer said.
“I am playing alongside some good players here. The staff have been great and I’m really happy.
“We are really disciplined as a team, with the ball and without the ball.
“We all buy into the way we are being asked to play and that’s where the results have come from.”
Palmer added: “We all get on and we all want the same thing.
“You’ve got to give credit to the manager and the staff of the job they’ve done.
“The spirit is good. We’re all quite young so we are always around each other’s houses, cooking food.
“That sort of stuff helps.
“It brings you together on the pitch.”