South Shields manager Jon King has challenged his players to embark on another winning run – starting tonight at Consett.
The Mariners have suffered two disappointments inside a week after a remarkable sequence of 20 victories in a row.
I’ve said to the lads, ‘let’s start another good run now’Jon King
Last Wednesday’s agonising defeat on penalties in the FA Vase to Morpeth Town was followed by a 3-2 reverse at Ryhope Colliery Welfare in Northern League Division Two on Saturday.
Tonight, Shields travel to Consett for a Durham Challenge Cup tie, with the winners to host Gateshead in the quarter-final.
King is confident his players will react positively to the recent double setback.
He said: “We’ve been on a fantastic, amazing run, and we need to do it again.
“After the disappointing draw against Stokesley in September, we said to the lads that we needed to go on a big unbeaten run, and we won 20 games on the spin.
“After the game on Saturday, I said to them that we’ve got four competitions to play in, and let’s make sure we try to win all of them if we can, because we’ve got the squad to do it.
“This is just a setback for us. We said at the beginning of the season that we wanted to win promotion.
“We want to win the league and I’m sure we can do. We’ve got the squad to do it, and it’s about how we react now.”
Tonight will be Shields’ third game in seven days, having not played a competitive fixture since December 19 before that.
King added: “The lads haven’t played a lot of football recently and they’ve wanted football. We’ve now got games coming thick and fast. There’s lots and lots of football to be played.
“Saturday was a setback, and that’s all it was. The players are a top, top bunch of lads, and I wouldn’t swap many of those players for anybody in this league. Those lads will get us where we want to be this season.”
King is expecting a tough task tonight against Northern League Division One side Consett, who will be smarting from a 1-0 extra-time defeat to the Mariners in the FA Vase in November.
He said: “Consett are one of the top First Division teams, and the big threat they’ve got is their front three.
“We’ll go there and certainly won’t under-estimate them. They’ll want to get one over on us for knocking them out of the Vase, but our lads will be ready. They’ve had a rest for a couple of days and they’ll all be back and ready for this match.
“I’ve said to the lads, ‘let’s start another good run now’.”
Shields are without the unavailable Ibby Hassan, John Grey and Danny Carson for tonight’s 7.30pm kick-off, but hope to welcome back Julio Arca.