Jarrow Roofing boss Richie McLoughlin has urged South Tynesiders to come and get behind the club in their derby day clash against South Shields tomorrow.
The Roofers haven’t been in action since an impressive victory over Marske United on January 7 and a result over their local rivals this weekend would make them unbeaten for a third straight league game.
The Mariners have had something of a congested fixture list over the last month. While Roofing have played only three times since December 3, South Shields have had seven fixtures – winning all seven of them.
McLoughlin believes that his opponents won’t be feeling the effects of their schedule tomorrow, and that they’ll only be more dangerous because of it.
“I think they’ll be sharper because they’re on a run of 12 games unbeaten. It would be different if they were off and on but they’re not,” he said.
“When you’re playing as well as they are, it doesn’t make any difference how many games you are playing.”
The sides have already faced each other twice this season. South Shields have come out on top on both occasions, winning 5-0 in September’s league fixture and then 2-1 in the Durham Challenge Cup at the start of this month.
The Roofing supremo has noted the difference in his side between the two games and is confident that this weekend’s game will be much more competitive than at the start of the season.
“We’ve had a look at the situation and brought a lot of new players in and there’s not much difference between us now,” he said.
“They’ve got a great team, but we’re starting to get our own team together now and I’m confident that we’ll give them a good game this weekend.”
A big crowd is expected at the CA Ground after more than 1,000 supporters attended the reverse fixture at Mariners Park.
McLoughlin is looking to South Tynesiders to come down and support their local team in what should be a highly competitive spectacle.
“They’ll bring a big crowd and if we can have as many supporters as possible come down and try to match that and encourage us, that’ll really help,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the game and the players are looking forward to the game. We’ve got a very decent side now and I think if we can sort ourselves out and get organised properly then we can really have a go at them.
“We want to take the game to South Shields, get at them and attack them and really have a proper go.”
Defender Arj Purewal was injured at Marske but could still available for the derby. If Purewal’s fit, the Roofers will have a full squad available for McLoughlin and joint-manager Mark Collingwood to choose from.