Boss Paul Collicutt is urging Evesham United to harness the hurt of last season’s play-off defeat in tomorrow’s return to heavyweights Salisbury according to the Evesham Journal.
The Robins lost 2-1 after extra-time in an engaging semi-final shootout but their rivals missed out on a coveted place in the Southern League Premier Division after being downed by Tiverton in the decider.
Under their former guise Salisbury City, the Wiltshire club plied its trade in non-league football’s top flight and has flexed its muscle in the transfer market to go one better this term.
“We have to rally the troops to fight and battle for every ball,” he said.
“They scored a hatful in a local cup this week and have established themselves as the top scorers in the league by a mile so we certainly have our work cut out.
“We had a lot of heartache there last season, there was an awful lot of hurt and that has driven me on.
“That is why the players know they have been below what I expect recently. Unfortunately it has come ahead of this game at Salisbury so I expect to see a reaction.
“When you look at Saturday’s defeat to Didcot, it was a bad one but if you could ever have a bad defeat, the play-off loss at Salisbury was one of them.
“The performance levels in that match and during that season were massive. The work that went in contributed to a very good, highly-competitive game. It still hurts but that is football and you have to move on.
“The work ethic that went in is what we are striving for now but we have only managed that once, maybe twice this season. We are trying to do it week in week out but when you’re semi-professional, it is difficult to do.
“We need everybody involved to find a big performance to get anything at Salisbury.”
Captain Linden Dovey (knee) is Evesham’s only injury concern.