Interview | Clark on ‘huge’ Curzon clash

Manager Lee Clark has talked up the significance of Blyth Spartans’ National League North trip to Curzon Ashton on Saturday. 

Following two consecutive wins against The Nash and AFC Telford United, Blyth’s dip in performance levels was punished by Hednesford Town in a 4-2 FA Cup exit at the weekend. 

With a new management team and a practically a new squad, Spartans feature in the early relegation places with five points from their opening 12 matches. 

However, a win at the Tameside Stadium will bring Clark’s side closer to safety and the process, drag Curzon Ashton into danger. 

Clark said: “It’s a huge game for us at Curzon on Saturday.

“We have to be ready and we have got to prepare them on Tuesday and Thursday and make sure that we are right. 

“We have made up some ground on the teams around us. We want to start catching them up even closer now. 

“If we can go and beat Curzon, we’ll bring them closer to us as well and bring another team into the equation. 

“Equally, we have got to bounce back from a disappointing performance at Hednesford and the only way to do it is by going and getting a result on Saturday.”

The pair meet for the third time in a month after playing out two very closely-fought affairs in the FA Cup Second Round Qualifying stage. 

In the North West, a Callum Roberts hat-trick and a goal from Olly Scott forced a replay at Croft Park before Michael Sweet sent Blyth into the next round with a 1-0 win. 

The former Kilmarnock manager added: “I’m hoping the players can use our previous performances against Curzon to go in with some confidence but we can’t be overconfident.

“In football, you have got to stay humble. I hope the players can use it to our benefit that we have gone down there and scored four goals, put in a good performance and beat them in the replay. 

“But if we think it is just going to be easy and just turn up – that won’t be the case. We have got to deliver a very big performance next Saturday.

“You have got to use every performance to build on the next. 

“Certainly we will look back at the Hednesford game and use it to say: ‘Look, you can’t turn up and expect to win a football match, you have got to be better in all departments.”

Posted by Jordan Cronin