Lewis Thorogood is expecting a tasty tussle on Saturday as his Spalding United side take on Belper Town for the second time in as many weeks.
Belper, who are fourth in BetVictor NPL South East Division, haven’t played since being held to a 2-2 draw with the Tulips last month.
Interim boss Thorogood reckons a few of his players will be more motivated than usual for the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field showdown, given that Belper have been open about the fact that they feel they “shouldn’t drop points against teams like Spalding”.
The Tulips chief has also called for calm from all at the Sir Halley following last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Kidsgrove Athletic.
“I think there will be a little needle in the game,” said Thorogood. “It wasn’t a dirty match last time, but it was a bit niggly.
“They came out afterwards and said a few things about how they ‘should be beating teams like Spalding’ too. That’s fine, we can work with that.
“Look, Belper are a good and very physical side and I’m very much looking forward to the game.
“We should know them well having played them two weeks ago and I’m confident we’ll be able to get another result.
“What I will say is that we’re still a very young side and we’re looking to build for the future.
“A few people were a bit concerned after last week’s game at Kidsgrove and maybe there has been a train of thought that the defenders took some unfair criticism.
“We lose collectively and win collectively. When you have a young side out against seasoned players at this level, there will be times when things don’t go to plan.
“The aim remains to finish as high as possible in the table, but with a firm eye on developing our exciting group of players for next season.”
Spalding, now 11th in the table, lost the services of skipper Lewis Brownhill, striker Joel Brownhill and defender Ben Greenwood on Thursday after all announced they were leaving the club.
Striker Jack Smith is also pushing for a recall.