Richie McLoughlin has urged his Jarrow Roofing players not to take basement club West Auckland Town lightly when they visit the Boldon CA Sports Ground on Saturday.
West’s only league win came against West Allotment Celtic on August 13. Since then, they have lost their last nine league games, including a 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Washington two weeks ago.
This alarming run of form has seen Steve Skinner and ex-Sunderland star Darren Williams installed as joint managers, and McLoughlin is wary of a West resurgence under the new managerial duo.
“It’s never easy to come up against a team that has just brought in new managers,” he said. “We cannot turn up and expect to claim the three points just because they are bottom of the league and on a poor run of form.
“We have already seen what happens this season when we just turn up and coast through games. If we do that against West Auckland, we will get punished.
“After Tuesday’s defeat to South Shields, I want our players to go out there on Saturday and prove a point. I want them to show they are better than West Auckland. Their players will work hard because they have a point to prove to the new managers, and we need to match that ethic for the full 90 minutes.”
Roofing’s three-match winning run came to a halt during the week as they were thumped 5-0 by South Shields in a South Tyneside derby. Despite putting in a solid first-half display, Roofing were swept aside in the second half as the Mariners showed a ruthless display of finishing to record a resounding success.
After the match, McLoughlin criticised the performance of some of his players, and has challenged them to come storming out of the blocks at the weekend.
“Too many of our players went missing on Tuesday,” he added. “In truth, it wasn’t the sort of performance that Mark Collingwood and I have come to expect from them – especially as we had been on a good run of form going into the match. It’s up to the players to put it right and claim the three points on Saturday.
“If we manage to take the points off of West and other results go our way, we could even break into the top 10 in the division.”
McLoughlin is expected to have a full-strength squad to choose from for the 3pm kick-off.