JON King is expecting South Shields to be given a stern test tomorrow when they come up against Team Northumbria.
Shields – who are hoping to play for the first time in three weeks after being hit by postponements – won their last game, a 2-1 victory at Darlington RA.
That has increased confidence in the camp, but King believes their credentials will be given a major examination tomorrow at Peterlee.
Team Northumbria are fourth in Northern League Division Two, and defeated the Mariners 1-0 when the sides met in October.
King said: “Team Northumbria are going well and are up there for a reason.
“We did really well against them the last time we played them, and I thought we deserved at least a point from the game, and possibly three.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, because they are a good side and are up there on merit, but we also know that if we play like we can, we can beat anybody in this league.”
King is eager for his side to get back on the pitch after their frustrating spell on the sidelines, as he prefers the games to come “thick and fast”.
He added: “Sometimes something like this can keep the players fresh, but I prefer the games to come thick and fast.
“We’ve had a long time without a game and we really want to get back out there on Saturday.
“We have got a few important players missing, but we’ve got a good squad now and this is one of the reasons why we brought in a few players recently.”
The Mariners will be without David Molloy (ankle) and Craig Roberts (hamstring) for tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off.
Michael Turner, Chris Renshaw and Niki Lawson are also unavailable, and Alex Kempster is a doubt for the match, at Eden Lane.