South Shields players urged to show character against Willington

CHARACTER ... Lee Bell.
CHARACTER ... Lee Bell.

SOUTH Shields assistant manager Lee Bell is looking for a response from his players after last week’s disappointing 3-0 reverse at Thornaby.

Shields host Willington at Peterlee tomorrow, and Bell knows a huge improvement is needed if they are to get a positive result.

He is expecting a difficult afternoon at Eden Lane, but has urged the players to show their character to get back to winning ways.

Bell said: “We were very poor last Saturday, and I don’t think we deserved anything more out of the game.

“Since I returned to the club as assistant manager in the summer, the one thing we have shown is a lot of character.

“The home game against Northallerton, for example, was probably one of the club’s best days in a couple of years.

“We really showed the type of character we have got to come back in that game, with 10 men, and win 5-3.

“Last Saturday, it looked like we didn’t have any character, and we need to put that right, starting tomorrow.”

This will be the third time Shields and Willington have met this season, with both teams having won one of those games.

Willington are sitting 15th in Northern League Division Two, one place and five points above Shields, but Bell is confident the Mariners can get a positive result.

He added: “Willington beat us 2-1 on the opening day of the season, and we’ve beaten them at home since then in the cup.

“Every game in this division is going to be tight, so that’s what we’re expecting tomorrow.

“We know that Willington have got a couple of strong players, and their left winger was very impressive in that opening game.

“As a team, they will come out and give as good as they get, and will work hard.

“I think if we can show half the desire we do have in the camp, we’ll get a result.

“If not, though, we’ll get nothing from the game again.”

Stephen Ramsey and Barrie Smith are expected to shake off knocks to play for Shields in the 3pm kick-off at Eden Lane.