LES Jones already knows what is top of his festive wishlist – six points between now and Christmas to kick-start Pershore Town’s relegation battle.
Town remain rooted to the foot of the West Midlands League Premier Division after losing 6-0 to fourth-placed Wolverhampton Casuals last weekend.
But, after a run of games against top five sides, Pershore entertain Shawbury United on Saturday and then head to Dudley Town the following weekend before Jones meets former club Malvern Town in a derby day contest at the King George V Stadium on December 22.
With Shawbury 13th and Dudley 15th, they are two fixtures Pershore will look to target to close the eight-point gap to fourth-bottom Dudley Sports.
“I don’t think anyone expected us to go to Wolves Casuals and get the win, considering the league positions, but now we’re playing teams just above us and we’ve got to target those games,” said Jones.
“We’ve had some tough games, playing four of the top five all away from home, but the next few matches are vital. We’ve got two home games and we showed what we could do in our last home game when we beat Hereford Lads Club.
“We need to be aiming for a minimum of six points from the three games before Christmas.”
Defeat to Cassies was no surprise – they had won 5-0 at Pershore in a League Cup tie lat month – but Jones admitted he was disappointed a few heads dropped when they went 3-0 down.
However, he suggested the key difference was the Black Country hosts took their chances, while Pershore were profligate in front of goal.
“They had eight or nine chances and scored six, we had five or six and didn’t take any,” said Jones. “They were clinical.”
Pershore are still a work in progress under Jones and Derek Doyle since they took over from Paul Harris two months ago and, while Jones would love some more wise, old heads to help the younger players, he is sticking with what he has got.
“You are always looking to strengthen as a manager and ideally I would like a couple of experienced players to help the good young players,” he added.
“But we need to build on what we’ve got and build a team rather than just individuals.”
Experienced defender Jamie Smith is the main injury worry but he is expected to be fit after treatment for a back injury.