WILL Atkinson believes Southend United’s exciting cup run can help their push for promotion — just like it did for him at Bradford City last season.

The energetic midfielder reached the final of the League Cup with the Bantams last term before also going on to promotion via the play-offs.

And the 25-year-old is now hoping to help the Shrimpers combine their own cup adventures with a return to League One.

“It was fantastic to beat Millwall and I think having a good cup run can definitely help us get promotion as well,” said Atkinson, 25.

“The cup games provide a break from the pressures of the league and results like the one against Millwall give everyone a huge boost.

“It keeps the momentum going and that was certainly the case with Bradford last season.

“It would be great for something similar to happen with Southend now as well.”

Blues host Premier League side Hull City in the fourth round of the FA Cup later this month in a match which will see Atkinson face his former side.

The midfielder, who scored in the memorable 4-1 win against Millwall, is therefore excited about the forthcoming tie with the Tigers.

But he also stressed the importance of keeping focused on the league.

“I’m looking forward to the Hull game but it’s still three weeks away so I’m not really thinking too much about it yet to be honest,” said Atkinson.

“We have league games against Plymouth and Chesterfield before then and we will be thinking about them, not the FA Cup.”

Saturday’s trip to Plymouth will also see Atkinson face another of his former sides.

The midfielder made 25 appearances for the Pilgrims during a six-month loan stint at the start of the 2011/12 season.

And he is hoping for a successful return this weekend.

“I had a good time with Plymouth and it will be good to go back, but only if we get the three points,” said Atkinson.

“Plymouth are capable of getting some very good results but if we play like we can then we’re confident of being able to get a win there.”