Former Burnley and Bournemouth keeper ‘the beast’ says Tigers boss is best as he hunts NCEL leaders Tadcaster

Worksop Town v Stocksbrige Park Steels.'Jon Stewart.
Worksop Town v Stocksbrige Park Steels.'Jon Stewart.

Goalkeeper Jon Stewart says Tigers boss Mark Shaw is allowing his side to play with complete freedom, as they hunt down league leaders Tadcaster.

The imposing stopper, nicknamed ‘the beast’ during a spell at Alfreton, counts Portsmouth, Burnley and Bournemouth among his former clubs.

Yet it’s Shaw who rates highest in the list of managers the 25-year-old has worked with.

Stewart told the Guardian: “He’s probably the best manager I’ve worked with, and I’ve been at a few professional clubs.”

“In terms of man management, he’s brilliant – if he doesn’t call you then you’ll get a few texts asking how it’s going, he always asks about family and he wants you to be happy outside football.”

But it’s in the changing room that Stewart believes Shaw makes a real difference.

“His team talks are great, he takes all the pressure on himseld and he lets us go out and play with freedom.”

“It just seems to work.”

It’s hard to argue with Stewart – not just because he stands over 6ft 2ins – but because Tigers are second in the NCEL Premier, providing a title challenge to Tadcaster Albion.

Since Stewart rejoined the club for an FA Vase victory at Long Eaton on 1st November, the club have lost just one game – a Sheffield Senior Cup tie that Stewart missed.

He said: “We drew with Tadcaster and they’re probably the best team we’ve played, and we should have beaten them.”

“If we carry on how we’ve been playing, I can’t see how many other teams can stop us – we’ve been running over teams.”

“Tadcaster have a margin, but you don’t know what other teams will do against them.”

Now in his second spell with Worksop, and a firm fan favourite, Stewart would love to repay the support that Shaw and the Tigers faithful have given him by helping them to a promotion.

“The fans are the ones turning up and paying their money so you have to show them as much love as you can – if it wasn’t for them you would get half the motivation.”

“I can’t thank them enough.”

“I hope we can get out of this league, Worksop deserve to be in the Northern Premier at least, if not the Conference North,” he said.

“I really hope we go up, and I’m confident we can do it, the lads are confident too.”