MANAGER Jimmy Reid insists his Pickering Town players will not be allowed to “go through the motions” as 2012 draws to a close.
The Mill Lane club’s last two games of the year are away to lowly Glasshoughton Welfare today and at relegation-threatened Winterton on Saturday.
The Pikes have recorded impressive wins over promotion-chasing Bridlington Town, Scarborough Athletic and Worksop Parramore during the first half of the Northern Counties East League campaign.
However, Reid is concerned a number of his players fail to perform against some of the premier division’s lesser lights.
The Pikes boss said: “We have lost points against teams like that before or not won by as many goals as we should have done.
“We’ve got some quality players at the club and we, as managers and coaches, shouldn’t have to say anything to them in these games.
“But this is when we don’t raise the stakes. We are not going to accept going through the motions.
“We are paying these lads and we want our money’s worth. The bottom line is that they should be coming off the pitch with no petrol left in the tank.
“Expectations are a bit higher now and the players have accepted that. We are not going to get promoted this season, but we want to finish the season as high as we can.
“We need to catch the group of teams above us in the table. We are chasing that group and when we catch that group, then you target the next group, and so on.”
Looking at the back-to-back festive away games, Reid said: “We have got to go there and bring three points back.
“You have to perform the best you can, get your head on, get three points, say ‘thank you very much’ and come home.
“Glasshoughton have had a change of manager recently, with the two former Tadcaster lads Rob Hunter and Mark Smitheringale going in there.
“I know they are trying to recruit a few players and they will be better than when we beat them last month.
“Winterton are down near the bottom and we just need to go away and look to get three points.”
Eddie Cass will come into contention for the Glasshoughton clash, having missed the Bridlington game following his switch from Brid back to Pickering.
Tom Fenwick is also available after missing the last two weeks of action.
Forward Ged Dalton has seen a specialist about his troublesome knee injury and, although there is evidence of scar tissue, he could be back for Saturday.
Said Reid: “We should have 18 or 19 players to choose from now and they will be fighting for 14 places on a match day. That can only be good for us.”
Tadcaster Albion travel to Hall Road Rangers looking for their first premier division win in four matches.
In division one, Knaresborough Town are away to struggling Yorkshire Amateur today.
Harrogate Town, 12th in Blue Square Bet North, host Workington at Wetherby Road knowing a win would take them above their ninth-placed visitors.
Harrogate Railway Athletic visit second-from-bottom Goole in Evo-Stik League division one north.