BROMSGROVE Sporting manager Paul Smith says games don’t come much harder than Nuneaton Griff away as the two sides are set to lock horns tomorrow (Wednesday) night.
Sporting currently lead the way in the Midland League Division One table on 71 points, while Griff sit in third on 66 points, and with Griff still to play Coventry United, they could have a massive say in where the title goes this season.
And for Smith, tomorrow’s game against their title rivals is a ‘must win’ if they have any hope of finishing at the top of the pile.
“When you want to win the league you’re always going to have tough games and they don’t come much tougher than Nuneaton away,” he said.
“For us, it’s a game where we have to go out there and get the three points.
“We’re in good form and winning games so I’m confident that if the lads put on a good show we are more than capable of defeating them.”
Since the 3-2 defeat to Coventry United back in November, the Rouslers have won an impressive 17 games out of 18 in all competitions, with their latest victory coming against lowly Stafford Town at the Victoria Ground on Saturday.
After a lacklustre first half performance from the Rouslers, Smith’s side stepped it up a gear in the second as three goals in the last 20 minutes from Sam Wills, Connor Collins and Will Tibbetts secured a 3-0 victory to maintain their four point gap at the top.
Despite the victory, Smith told the Standard it was a relief to see his side walk away with the three points.
“It looked a really nervous performance, we just looked a little on edge,” he said.
“It was always going to be difficult to hit the heights of last week’s performance against Coventry United and it looked scrappy.
“However, if someone had offered me a 3-0 victory before the start of the game I’d have taken it.
“I have always said that you need a good squad of 18-19 players and the changes we made for the game against Stafford had a big influence on the match.
“Even though we did not play particularly well, if you can fashion out a 3-0 win, that speaks volumes about the squad.”
Ahead of tomorrow night’s crunch clash, Sporting will be without Luke Dugmore (flu) while Reece Hewitt (knee) is 50-50 and expected to have a late fitness test.
The Rouslers have also been boosted by the signings of defender Dan Morris from Lichfield City and winger Josh Westwood from Cadbury Athletic.
Smith said: “Morris is a tremendous defender, he’s got pace, he’s good in the air, just the complete defender.
“I was devastated to lose him at the start of the season to Lichfield but I’m chuffed to bits to have him back.
“Meanwhilem, Westwood is a pacy winger who I had at Studley three seasons ago but he just needed that experience.
“He’s had plenty of first team opportunities at Cadbury and I’ve kept a close eye on him since so brought him to the club.
“With the title run in, both of them will play a huge part and will be in the squad for the Nuneaton game.”