Jon King has urged his South Shields players to make history as they look to keep their remarkable winning run going tomorrow.
Shields take on Tow Law Town at Mariners Park aiming for a 17th consecutive victory, and manager King says the prospect of etching their names in the record books is acting as a ‘motivational tool’ for his players.
If the players keep this run going and extend it much further, they could be talked about for years to come, so they don’t want to let it slipJon King
He said: “The lads have got an incredible run going and don’t want to let go of it. It’s acting as a motivational tool for them.
“If they keep this run going and extend it much further, they could be talked about for years to come, so they don’t want to let it slip.
“We want to keep this run going at the same time as keeping everyone grounded, because we’ve not done anything yet.
“We’ve only played 19 league games, so we’re not even halfway through the season yet and there’s a lot of hard work to do.
“We certainly won’t be taking anything for granted, and we’ve got good characters in the dressing room to ensure no one gets carried away.”
Shields’ average attendance in the league this season is over 600, while they have had two gates of over 1,000 at Mariners Park.
The fans’ backing has been rewarded with a tremendous run of form on the pitch, which sees the Mariners sitting eight points clear at the top of Northern League Division Two.
King added: “The fans have been absolutely tremendous for us, not just because of the numbers we’re getting but also because of the support they’re giving us at games. They’ve played their part in the run as well.
“I’ve never been involved in a run like this before. I went 13 or 14 games unbeaten when I was manager at Morpeth, but this is 16 wins in a row, which is almost unheard of.
“We’ve done it through hard work and not being arrogant. We just take each game as it comes.”
One of Shields’ star performers is Julio Arca, the former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder, and he impressed once again in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Chester-le-Street in the League Cup.
King continued: “Julio has shown massive, massive hunger since coming here. How many players can you think of who would come out of the Premier League and show this kind of hunger at this level?
“Everyone loves him, and he put another top performance in on a difficult surface on Tuesday.
“He’s still fit, is getting stronger, still has lots of pace and is a massive asset to us.”
Shields will still be without the suspended Lewis Teasdale for the 3pm kick-off at Mariners Park, but they will welcome back Adam Sakr, and could also have Adam Curry available again.
Meanwhile, this is the first game of the club’s 10-match season ticket offer, which cost £40 for adults and £24 for concessions. To book, call 0191 454 7800.
Places on a supporters’ coach to next Saturday’s FA Vase match at Consett will also be available at tomorrow’s game, at £7 a head.