Shaw expects Tigers to be firing on all cylinders for FA Cup tie

Worksop Town manager, Mark Shaw.
Worksop Town manager, Mark Shaw.

Worksop Town boss Mark Shaw expects his players to be firing on all cylinders when they kick off the new season.

Tigers will begin the 2016/17 campaign at home against near neighbours Hallam FC in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday.

Shaw was encouraged by the performance from his side in the last of their pre-season games against League Two side Mansfield Town.

Second half goals from Lee Collins and Chris Clements put Stags firmly ahead before Mitch Husbands pulled one back for the hosts. Zayn Hakeem made it 3-1 late on.

It was Worksop’s third game in six days following friendlies against Dronfield Town and Matlock Town earlier in the week and Shaw says his squad are well-prepared for the rigours of the NCEL Premier season.

He said: “We’ve had a very difficult pre-season programme. This was their third match in six days and they’ve set themselves high standards. I’m expecting them to be firing on all cylinders next week.

“They’re right on button. No-one went down with cramp against Mansfield, no-one was breathing over-heavily against a team who play so many tiers further up, who moved the ball quite well.

“From our group now we’ve got to make sure we maintain that throughout the season, keep the organisation and have a good go. I don’t see why we can’t and let’s see where we end up.

“It’s one of those league that is dictated by budget and we’ve got to make sure we’re in the mix towards the end of the season.”

Saturday’s 2016/17 opener is packed with history with two of the oldest clubs going head-to-head in the world’s oldest cup competition.

“FA Cup game makes it a bit spicy,” said Shaw. “Fourth oldest club versus second oldest club in one of the oldest competitions in the world which gives that bit of history.

“We hope to have a packed out Sandy Lane. If supporters can make it we hope they come, especially this year where we have a little bit more financial risk.

“We hope people realise that we are trying to keep the club in Worksop and build a football club that is self sufficient and is constantly trying to put back in the community.

“The Tiger brand is increasing each year, whether it’s a golf day or work with the academy, or looking into a new sport, Worksop Town Football Club wants to improve.

“We do need as much support as possible, to help the boys starting from next week.”

The cup match has meant the previously scheduled Friday night friendly with Sheffield United has had to be postponed, with Shaw hopeful something can be re-arranged.

He added: “We knew when the season was going to start we were going to have to re-arrange it. We’ve got such a tight schedule with Parramore’s games also.

“It’s just not happened for us. We’ve got to think about the FA Cup first, it’s massive, it sets the season off and it’s important we start nice and tidy.”

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