LES Jones urged Pershore Town to build on the positives from their midweek cup defeat when they face one of the toughest challenges in the West Midlands League Premier Division on Saturday.
Despite a 5-0 loss to Wolverhampton Casuals in Tuesday’s League Cup tie, manager Jones said he was left more upbeat by the performance against the top four side than he was after the previous outing against Cradley Town.
Cradley won 4-1 at the King George to leave Pershore rooted to the foot of the table with just one win in 16 matches.
However, the return to action of goalkeeper Toby Wilcox after injury, the appearance of newcomers Charles Appiah and King Mensah and the general performance for 75 of the 90 minutes against Casuals provided reasons to be optimistic.
Not that the trip to third-placed Shrewsbury Haughmond, who beat Pegasus Junior 7-0 in midweek, will be anything other than a huge challenge.
“I’m more upbeat after the performance against Wolves Casuals than I was after the Cradley game,” said Jones.
“On Tuesday we showed we could match one of the top teams in the league. We showed we could be competitive. I felt it was a step forward. I saw genuine progress.
“For 35 minutes we matched them and then we gave away a penalty and by the time we got to half-time we were 3-0 down. That was frustrating but then we came out in the second half and matched Wolves for 40 minutes until they got two late goals.
“Now we have got to put a 90 minutes performance together. Unfortunately for us, now we have got to go to one of the best teams in the league on Saturday at Haughmond.”
Wilcox, last season’s No 1, played the full 90 minutes against Casuals in his first outing for ten weeks following a dislocated shoulder.
New signings – midfielder Appiah and wide player Mensah – will also be in contention. They are both students at the University of Worcester and Jones felt they showed signs of promise.