King: Whickham win made people “eat their words”
Jon King says his South Shields players made people “eat their words” by beating Whickham 1-0 last Thursday.
The Mariners manager now senses an opportunity for the Northern League Division Two club to end the season on a high, with four games left to play.
Shields are 16th in the table, and take on bottom side Ryton and Crawcrook Albion at Peterlee tonight.
The win at eighth-placed Whickham ended a run of four straight losses for Shields, and King was delighted with the efforts of his side.
He said: “Big credit to the lads for that performance on Thursday – it was a good one.
“The squad has been stretched as we’ve had to play three games a week, and we’ve had to play a lot of the top sides recently as well.
“We dominated from start to finish against Whickham, though, and the only disappointing thing was we didn’t win by more.
“A few people outside the camp might have been having a go before the game and questioning their desire and ability as players, so it was an ideal chance for them to make people eat their words.
“All 11 players were near the top of their game, and that is why we won.”
Shields have four games left, with all of them to take place at their adopted home of Eden Lane in Peterlee.
King wants the Mariners to replicate the type of performance which beat Whickham in order to give supporters something to cheer before the end of the season.
He added: “It’s no good beating someone like Whickham away if you can’t beat teams like Ryton or Brandon at home.
“We need to have the same mental attitude, because the lads were all up for the Whickham game.
“Ryton, who we play tonight, are scrapping for their lives, but hopefully we can show the same desire and finish the season on a high.”
Captain Barrie Smith – who returned from an injury lay-off by coming on as a late substitute at Whickham – misses out tonight, but is set to return for Saturday’s game against Chester-le-Street.
Adam Burnicle and Colin White are also unavailable for tonight’s 7.30pm kick-off.