KARL Rose is calling on his Frickley Athletic players to overcome the “mental barrier” he believes has stopped the Blues picking up more points for their efforts so far this season.
The South Elmsall side go into Saturday’s home clash with Stafford Rangers (kick-off 3pm) third from bottom with just one Evo-Stik Premier Division win to their name.
Rose believes that isn’t a fair reflection on his team’s performances so far, however, and hopes his troops can quickly start turning performances into points.
“I think it’s a bit of a mental barrier that maybe the lads have yet to overcome,” he said.
“I think a lot of it comes down to myself as a manager, needing to get players relaxed when they’re in certain areas of the pitch.
“I’ve been pleased with our play on the whole and we’ve been improving week by week and now we need those back-to-back league wins that will really give our season the boost it needs.”
It’ll be almost three weeks since the Blues last played a league match due to their prolonged inclusion in the FA Cup and matches in the FA Trophy and Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup.
It’s something that’s hampered their chances of rising up the league table but the visit of Stafford provides the Blues with the chance to secure their first back-to-back league wins of the season after defeating Ilkeston last time out.
“Our home games are crucial and to get back-to-back home wins in the league would be big for us,” said Rose.
“Stafford haven’t lost away yet and they’ve drawn four of those matches so that shows they’re a tough team to beat.”
The Blues will be without defender Luke Jeffs, who starts a three-match suspension following his sending off in the FA Trophy defeat against North Ferriby United.
Former X-Factor contestant Jake Quickenden is also unlikely to make his debut after suffering a hamstring injury.
Summer arrival James Walker has left to join Brigg Town.
Frickley are offering free admission to season ticket holders at Premier League and Football League clubs for Saturday’s match.
The offer is part of National Non-League Day and looks to attract supporters of clubs who won’t be in action this weekend due to the international football fixtures.
Fans of clubs such as Barnsley, Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday are all encouraged to watch the Blues take on Stafford as part of the annual event.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.