Richie McLoughlin hopes that the prospect of going three games unbeaten in the league will help spur his Jarrow Roofing side on when they travel to West Auckland Town tomorrow.
Following on from last week’s win away at high-flying Marske United, the Roofers have now gone since November 26 without tasting defeat in the Ebac Northern League Division 1, and the Roofing boss has called on his side to extend that streak in the hope of creating even more space between them and the bottom end of the table.
“It’s a good incentive for the team,” McLoughlin said. “It’s always nice to put together a little unbeaten run because it shows we are becoming more and more consistent.
“We struggled for that consistency earlier on in the season, so it shows that we must be getting things right now.
“However, the worst thing we can do is head over to West Auckland and just expect to get the win. We need to fight for the points.
“They are a very good side, physical, and they have just brought in four new players, so it just shows that they are strengthening all over the pitch.
“We need to show the same characteristics that we showed at Marske if we are to come away with anything: teamwork, taking care when in possession and doing the simple things well.”
McLoughlin also knows that the clash will be incredibly tight as West Auckland are just one point and one place above Roofing in the standings and come into the game on the back of an impressive win away at Consett.
However, before that win, they had only tasted victory once in their last six outings in all competitions – and that came at the end of November.
“We can go above them with a win,” McLoughlin added. “But, I think that brings its own advantages and disadvantages.
“If we win and other results go our way, we could move up as far as 16th, so that should provide a little extra motivation to our players.
“However, West Auckland will be going all out for the win, too, because they will want to create a bigger gap between us and them.”
McLoughlin, though, believes this is not a must-win fixture, despite some tough matches against South Shields, Newton Aycliffe and Dunston UTS coming up in the next few weeks.
“If you’d have asked me earlier in the season whether this was a must-win game or not, I probably would have said it was.
“However, the whole team are getting better each week, and some of the football we have been playing has been great.
“We now go into every single game looking to pick up the win. We should not be worried about anyone.
“There’s no sense of panic around the club now because everyone can see that the work we are putting in is starting to pay off, so we’ll just go there, play our natural game and see what happens.”
The Roofers are expected to take a near full-strength side down to County Durham, with only Paul Gardiner set to miss the trip.
New signing Dennis Knight is also in-line to make his debut for the club after the former Newcastle United trainee missed the trip to Marske due to suspension.