Hebburn Town boss Scott Oliver has warned his players they will face one of their toughest challenges of the season when they travel to Sunderland RCA.
The clash at Meadow Park pits two of the Northern League Division One’s in-form sides up against each other.
Oliver has added goalkeeper Andrew Jennison to his squad as he looks to tighten up his defence, while attackers Graeme Armstrong and Andrew Stephenson return to the squad after missing the midweek cup win over Birtley Town.
And he believes his big-game players can rise to the occasion against Martin Swales’ side.
Oliver said: “It is an extremely tough game on Saturday.
“RCA are in great form on the back of two great away wins at West Auckland and Newcastle Benfield and I expect a cracking game.
“We have no real injury worries with a full squad to pick from. New signing Andrew Jennison will be in the squad – the former Team Northumbria and Whitley Bay keeper is a good signing for the club.
“I feel our lads enjoy the challenge of the big games, as they showed at Shildon, so I’m looking forward to a very good game. We are keen to keep our run going and cement our place at the top end of the league.”
Winning the midfield battle is one of RCA’s key objectives according to their assistant manager Mark Cowan.
“There are some high-class midfielders on both sides and that could be where the game is won and lost,” explained the RCA number two.
“They come with the likes of Stephenson and Michael Richardson and obviously we have some talented lads like Luke Page and Dylan Elliott.
“It will be some battle and the whole game will be given the recent form of both sides.
“They spent heavily in the summer, brought in some strong players and they seem to be gelling well.
“They are showing intent but we are improving rapidly after an indifferent start to the season.”