Shields not thinking about next season yet, says manager

FOCUSED ... Jon King.
FOCUSED ... Jon King.

JON King insists his sole focus is on South Shields’ remaining six games – and his thoughts have not turned to next season yet.

The Mariners are 15th in Northern League Division Two heading into tomorrow’s game against Alnwick Town at Peterlee.

They are eight points adrift of 14th-placed Chester-le-Street, while three teams behind them are within three points of Shields.

Manager King insists there is still plenty for his side to play for in the final weeks of the season – not least the players’ futures at the club.

And he says it is important the Mariners get back to winning ways tomorrow, against a side which is just a point and a place below them.

He said: “We’re still totally concentrated on this season – we can’t afford to take our eye off the ball. It would be pointless thinking about next season yet, as it’s still a long time away.

“We’ve still got six games left and plenty of points to play for, and another motivation for the players is that they will want to secure their future at the club.

“We certainly don’t want to be losing points to the teams around us in the table, or they will overtake us, and that’s the case with Alnwick tomorrow.”

High-scoring Alnwick could provide a stern test for Shields tomorrow, with the Mariners set to be without the suspended Chris Locke, Stephen Ramsey and Lee Maitland.

King added: “Alnwick always seem to pick up some great results, and they score a lot of goals, so it’s going to be a tough game, especially with three important players suspended.

“We should be getting a few players back, though – the likes of Chris Feasey, Aron Burn and Ben Riding – which will be a boost, as they were big players to be missing last week.”

Kick-off at Eden Lane is at 3pm.