South Shields are looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they make the trip to Tadcaster Albion in the Evo-Stik North Division.
The journey will be among the Mariners’ shortest of the season, and they will go to North Yorkshire aiming to end a run of three games without a win.
The match was in slight doubt after overnight rain in Tadcaster, but the pitch passed a precautionary inspection at 9.45am.
Monday’s 3-1 home defeat to Scarborough Athletic left Shields second in the table, one point behind leaders Prescot Cables and with five games in hand.
On Saturday, they will come up against a Tadcaster side sitting 11th in the table, trailing the Mariners by 16 points, having played three more matches. Over the festive period, they lost 3-0 at Scarborough before thrashing Brighouse Town 5-0.
After training twice during the week, Shields are eager to secure their first win of 2018 – and joint manager Graham Fenton has full faith in his players to do so.
He said: “You learn about characters when it’s tough. You don’t learn much about characters when it’s all very easy for the team and they’re winning game after game after game.
“Myself and Lee are very confident that this group of players will bounce back.
“We’re confident in the group and confident in the quality of the group.
“We just didn’t get that quite right on Monday. We just have to go back at it.
“We trained on Tuesday and Thursday and worked at it. Hopefully we can turn it around as soon as Saturday.”
Vice-captain Jon Shaw, too, is hoping for a strong reaction from the Mariners.
He said: “Saturday’s game isn’t going to make or break our season.
“The biggest thing is the reaction and the way we go about it.
“Are we just going to become a team that everyone thinks has a soft underbelly, or are we going to go out there, fight and scrap, and show our quality as well?
“If we can put all that together, we’ll win more games than we draw or lose between now and the end of the season, and we’ll come out where we want to be at the top of the league.
“We have to go to Tadcaster with the same aim that we’ve had from the start of the season, to win every game.”
Kick-off at the i2i Stadium – which has a post code of LS24 9AY – is at 3pm.