Pearce: Hull Ionians must not be complacent against Westoe
HULL Ionians' coach Gary Pearce has warned his players not to undo their perfect start to the season with a defeat to lowly Westoe.
The South Shields side are second from bottom, 11 places and 12 points behind Pearce's side who have won all three of their games so far.
But Pearce is reminding his players not to fall into the trap of taking Westoe for granted.
"I am reminding the players all the time about what brought us the three wins this season," he told the Mail.
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"We don't want to get carried away because there is a long way to go and this league is as competitive as ever.
"Things can change very quickly and I'm sure there will be a defeat coming up, but hopefully not for a while.
"It would be demoralising if we lost at home to Westoe after the effort we put into beating Preston Grasshoppers last week who I think will be a top-four side at the end of the season.
"We targeted the first month of the season and to get three wins from three is great.
"Getting a fourth tomorrow will be more than we could have hoped for."
Pearce is pleased his players have carried the form they showed at the end of last season into the new campaign.
In the last 15 league games they have played, they have won 12 and Pearce hopes that run can continue against a side that has already used 40 players in just three games.
"I'm delighted we have carried last season's form into this season," Pearce said.
"To win 12 from 15 would be top four form.
"It's nicer being at the top of the table than where we were this time last year when we struggled at the start of the season.
"We aren't getting distracted by the problems Westoe have experienced.
"They had a bit of a crisis towards the end of last season when they struggled to get a side together.
"They are desperate to get some stability into the side but they aren't having much luck with injuries.
"We know they haven't had much stability to their team this year and they haven't got off to the best start.
"It's an opportunity for us but it comes down to the way we perform. We can't lose focus on what we want to do tomorrow.
"We are at home and it's our goal to make Brantingham Park a place where visiting teams have to be at their very best to beat us."
Rob Kench, James Ferguson and Joe Sanders all return to Ionians squad while Chris Reakes is named in the squad despite picking up an injury in the victory at Preston last week.
Ionians 1st XV from: Mike Bateman; Jon Steel; Luke Thundercliffe; Sam Wilson; Chris Reakes; Richard Fletcher; Adam Rice; Joey Martin; Will Heylings; James Ferguson; Adam Thomas; Isaac Green; Dave Laverick; Albert Thundercliffe; Tom Rice; Ally Forth; Stephen Johnson; Joe Makin(c); Rob Kench; Joe Sanders; Scott Jackson; Kerry Wood; Mark Wigham; Danny Hague.
Hawks from: B Pearson; M Woodall; C Bone; T Ruffle; J Wilson; C Youngs; C Allenby; Ziggy; P Dinsdale; A Rice; J Ashton; D Redford (c); S Leaf; S Wilson; O Martin; Rhan; A Davy; J Rosenbrook; R Barrass; B Rawson; Macca.
Buccaneers from: N Lyon; R Gregersen; P Carty; M Hinson; A Gleadow; J Wilson; T Wilson-Brown; J Midgely; C Cone; C Harrison; J Barron; D Daley; R Hodges; J Allison; J Mabbett; A Garnett; M Richards; L Gardner; A Wilson; G Hunt; B Bainbridge.
Ramblers from: M. Baxter; J. Bryant; C. Smeaton; L. Gaga; L. Balalutu; H. Sutton; C. Feller; S. Latus; A. Sigsworth (c); B. Loveridge; E. Woollen; D. Luscombe; D. Kirby; P. Cowling; A. Shaw; A. Thompson; T. Wilkie; T. Mabbett; D. Boothby.