SIMON WEAVER hopes to topple a former playing colleague from his Sheffield Wednesday days tomorrow – and is demanding a top-class performance from his Harrogate Town side at home to promotion-chasing AFC Telford United.
The third-placed Bucks, managed by ex-Owls and England wingman Andy Sinton, are being backed to the hilt by a go-ahead board in their quest for Blue Square Premier promotion and are looking the part ahead of the season’s home straight after just one defeat in their last 11 league matches.
Indeed, the Shropshire men have seen their colours lowered just twice in 24 league games, with Sinton’s troops claiming a headline 1-0 win at high-flying rivals Boston United last weekend.
Weaver doesn’t need to be told twice that Town must be at their very best if they are to entertain serious notions of turning over Telford, who triumphed 3-0 in a FA Trophy tie at the CNG Stadium late last year.
The Harrogate boss wants a repeat of last Saturday’s late show which saw off Gainsborough Trinity rather than the limp display which brought a 4-0 mauling at Hinckley United just over 48 hours later.
Former Wednesday defender Weaver, who saw centre-back Jake Picton dismissed on Monday, said: “We need to just remember what we did last Saturday.
“I think we set the standard of where we want to go with the possession football. The last 25 minutes was the best we’ve played all season. We were excellent and dangerous every time we crossed the halfway line.
“But on Monday, we played a few of the lads from Saturday who hadn’t played (regularly) and the game probably came very quickly for them.
“In the first 15 minutes on Monday, we were actually the better side, but had an injury to the keeper and had to put a young lad in there who was learning his trade and they had two big brutes up front.
“Then Richard Pell got injured and that’s what really changed the game. We’ve just got to draw a line under it.”
On opponents Telford and a reunion with Sinton, Weaver added: “I was A YTS and young pro at Sheffield Wednesday when he was there and obviously Andy has done well in the game and brings a lot of experience and he has a good side.
“They beat us 3-0 at our place in the Trophy and we got done on the counter-attack a few times so we’ll have to be a bit more aware of that and sort that out.
“I think (Adam) Proudlock had four touches and scored three goals!
“The club have got great pulling power and I remember when we were there last year, everyone was up for it and it’s a good ground.
“Hopefully, we can bring them back down to earth. They had a good win at Boston last weekend and were excellent, but let’s hope it’s a case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for them.
“Telford are geared up to go through the divisions to the (Football) League probably. The facilities they have got for training and games is awesome really.
“We’ve got to work hard on a system to stop them and when we’ve got the ball, have a real go. A good result for us will spur us on for Guiseley on Tuesday.”
Midfielder Martin Foster is a doubt for Town, who this week boosted their ranks by signing young schemer John Leonard as cover.
Weaver said: “We haven’t got a reserve team so we can’t trial people. But we’ve had him (Leonard) in for training, as he was with Hull City Reserves last season, did ever so well and came highly recommended.
“He’s trained a couple of times, albeit on Astroturf in small-sided games, and looks a good player who has a chance. He just needs to get experience. This is a hard level to come to, but he’s got to grab the chance.”
Guiseley host Gloucester City at Noethermoor, having this week parted company with out-of-favour centre-half James Cotterill.
Meanwhile, defender Jez Fitzgerald’s loan spell at Chorley has been extended.