ALAN Knill has challenged his Shakers stars to embark on a fairytale FA Cup run.

Gillingham visit Gigg Lane on Saturday in the first round of the world’s most famous club knockout competition, and Knill wants his men to emulate last season when they beat Norwich before narrowly losing their fourth round tie to Southampton.

Last season, unfashionable Barnsley knocked out Chelsea and Liverpool on their way to the semi-finals, and Knill would love to steer Bury to similar heights.

The Shakers are back to winning ways in League Two after beating Notts County on Saturday, but they did crash out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy to Darlington on Tuesday night.

That loss hurt Knill, who said: “We are looking forward to the FA Cup.

“We have come through a tough October, and started November really well with a great win away at Notts County, so I think we go into the game pretty strong.

“The whole atmosphere in FA Cup games is good. I have played non-league teams in the past, which are always hard, and I have played league teams.

“The tradition of the cup is fantastic. It's a chance for smaller teams to do something. Last year we saw Barnsley virtually go all the way, and that can be an inspiration to us.

“The players will be up for it as much as the biggest league game. People say about concentrating on the league, but you have to go for it and see where it takes you and we will be doing that. We will be going all out, and hopefully we will pull a plum tie along the way and make some money.”

Bury welcome Efe Sodje and Stephen Dawson back into the team for the Gills clash after both players missed Tuesday's game through suspension. Brian Barry-Murphy should also be okay after having stitches above his eye against Darlington.

And, Knill is confident his team couldn’t be in much better shape.

“We are seventh in the league, three points off the top of the table, so we are going okay at the moment,” said Knill.

“I am happy to be where we are, I am obviously disappointed that we did lose those three games in a week but it happens to the best of teams.

“Wolves are top of the Championship, but they lost three games in a week too. You just have to have belief and get on with it.

“We do want to win the tie at the first attempt because the last thing we need is more games. We have a pretty small squad.

“I am happy with the home draw, now let's try and beat Gillingham.”