Jon King hailed his South Shields players after they made it an incredible 20 wins in a row – and then urged them to ‘go again’ in their pursuit of glory.
Shields beat Alnwick Town 4-1 at Mariners Park on Saturday to stretch their lead at the top of Northern League Division Two to nine points.
They also remain in all cup competitions they entered at the start of the season, and the players were able to enjoy their Christmas party on Saturday night after a superb first half of the campaign.
However, King insists they must still improve heading into tomorrow’s FA Vase tie against Northern League Division One leaders Morpeth Town at Mariners Park.
He said: “It’s 20 wins in a row, which is fantastic, and the lads deserve a lot of praise for the run that they’re on.
“They went out for their Christmas party after the game and I told them to enjoy it, but after that, the 20 is gone and we need to go again for 21. That’s what we’re going to do.
“We’ve got a tough game against Morpeth and we’ll need to be better.
“Our first half performance against Alnwick could have been a lot better, and if we play one half like that against Morpeth, we’ll lose.
“We’ll need to be at our best throughout the game to win. It’s a really, really big game, and I just hope the weather is kind and we get the game on.”
Shields’ first goal came straight off the training ground as Robert Briggs pulled a free-kick back to Julio Arca on the edge of the box, and the former Sunderland and Middlesbrough man stroked it home.
King said: “We work on a lot of different things in training, and we’ve worked on that one.
“It’s great to see things we’ve worked on in training coming off. It was a great goal, well worked and a great finish from Julio.
“When we worked on it in training, Julio wasn’t there, but he was there on Saturday and he has got great quality, so we knew he was the right man for the finish.”
Danny Carson impressed at right-back on his Shields debut following his move from Jarrow Roofing earlier in the week.
On his performance, King said: “Danny was oustanding. On a tough pitch, he never gave the ball away. I thought he was absolutely fantastic.
“He got on, right down to the byline on a few occasions, and he gives you great quality and versatility. We’re over the moon to have him on board.”