Ionians must stay focused on result
HULL Ionians coach Gary Pearce has urged his men to play tomorrow's game and not the occasion as they travel to Darlington Mowden Park.
The match will be played at Darlington's 25,000-seater home at the Northern Echo Arena (where tickets are still available for the game).
Pearce admits it will be the biggest stadium some of his players have ever played in, but has warned them the only way they will enjoy the experience is if they win.
"It's all very well going to nice grounds like this, but you have to win," he said.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"It's not very nice if you get thrashed.
"If we give 100 per cent and it's good enough to get the win, then so be it.
"It should be interesting to play at a big stadium and the lads are looking forward to it.
"Darlington have to remember that opposition sides will raise their game playing there.
"They have extended the pitch to be the longest and widest in England which they think will suit their game. But it will also suit our game too.
"They want a high scoring game but we want to play the game properly.
"They need to win this game to close the gap on us in second place. But if we win, we will extend our eight-point lead further."
If Ionians are to catch runaway league-leaders Stourbridge, they have to win tomorrow. In fact they have to win their eight games before the two sides meet at Brantingham Park on April 6.
Pearce admits closing the current 23-point gap is a hard task, even though Ionians have three games in hand.
Stourbridge have only suffered one defeat compared to Ionians' two, but Pearce reckons the bonus points could be the difference.
"I don't know if Stourbridge can be caught," he admitted.
"We'll do our best to catch them. But even if they were to lose two games, their bonus point tally is seven better than our own.
"Hopefully, we can win all our matches before we meet them at our place in April and they slip up along the way.
"Their win at Luctonians after losing their only game this season was massive for them, as it was for us.
"If they had lost, we would have been a lot closer to them than we are now.
"We aren't counting any chickens just yet, though, because there have been some crazy scores this season. Bromsgrove have conceded 92 points in their two matches since beating Stourbridge.
"The first thing we want to do is secure second place and take things from there."
Dave Laverick is available and lock forward Royce Cadman has returned on-loan from Doncaster, keen to get some game time. Will Nutbeen is now fully fit and that means more than 20 players are available.
Ionians v Darlington Mowden Park, home, kick-off 2.15pm, from: Mike Bateman; Jon Steel; Joey Martin; Richard Fletcher; Sam Wilson; Chris Reakes; Adam Thomas; Isaac Green; Dave Laverick; Albert Thundercliffe; Tom Rice; Ally Forth; Stephen Johnson; Joe Makin(c); Royce Cadman; Joe Sanders; Scott Jackson; Kerry Wood; Mark Wigham; Danny Hague; Will Nutbeen; Ben Johnson.