South Shields boss calls on team to put things right on league return

Robert Briggs is hoping to continue his fine form, having scored five goals in his last three appearances. Picture by Kev Wilson.
Robert Briggs is hoping to continue his fine form, having scored five goals in his last three appearances. Picture by Kev Wilson.

Lee Picton has called on his South Shields players to show how much last week’s FA Trophy exit hurt – by coming out firing against Droylsden tomorrow.

The Mariners suffered a 3-1 defeat at Stafford Rangers in the second qualifying round of the Trophy last Saturday.

They will look to bounce back in the Evo-Stik North at Mariners Park tomorrow as they bid to strengthen their promotion bid.

But Picton has warned that he and fellow joint manager Graham Fenton will not accept any repeat of last week’s display.

The joint manager said: “Over the last 14 months, we haven’t had to bounce back from defeats very often.

“When we have had to do that, we’ve usually done it well. That’s what we need to do again, without doubt, tomorrow.

“I think we’re just looking for the players to show that what happened last Saturday really hurt, because it certainly hurt Graham and I.”

Shields have won 11 of their 12 games so far this season in the league, and are second heading into tomorrow’s game.

They are one point off leaders Bamber Bridge, who have played four games more, and four points clear of third-placed Hyde United, who have played one more match.

Despite the positive results overall, though, Picton has warned his players that performances have not been good enough.

He added: “I believe that a slight air of complacency has set in.

“Both ourselves as managers and the players have been told by seemingly everyone that we’re going to walk this league.

“I think that perhaps one or two people are listening to that too much and are taking things for granted.

“We need to prove to ourselves as much as anyone else that we can combine results with good performances.”

Droylsden are eighth in the table, with 24 points from their 13 games so far.

And Picton feels Shields are in for a difficult test against them at Mariners Park.

He said: “They pose quite a potent attacking threat, and we’re aware of that.

“We’re going to have to rediscover some more defensive discipline to deal with them.

“We’ll also need to manage the game well on a tactical level.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to combine that with some cutting edge at the top end of the pitch.”

Shields have doubts over Matty Pattison, Jon Shaw, Carl Finnigan and Anthony Callaghan heading into tomorrow’s 3pm kick-off, while Adam Hutchinson and Stephen Ramsey remain injured.

Admission – to be paid at the turnstiles – is £8 for adults, £6 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.

A minute’s applause will be held before the game in memory of 10-year-old Shields fan Jak Fada, who died on November 6.

There is also set to be a minute’s applause in the 10th minute.