THE MISERY of Saturday’s FA Cup defeat is behind Redditch United and they are raring to go against King’s Lynn Town in the Southern League Premier Division on Saturday says boss Liam McDonald.
McDonald had warned his side that Midland Football League Division One outfit Hinckley AFC – who play three tiers below the Reds – had the players to cause trouble for his team, and so it proved as goals from Marco Adaggio and Sean Williams put the Leicestershire side 2-0 up in the first half.
Robbie Bunn pulled a goal back for the visitors before the break but, despite the late dismissal of Dom Smith, United could not rescue the tie and they exited the competition 2-1 in the first qualifying round.
However, despite admitting the cup defeat had been a bitter pill to swallow, McDonald said his team had trained well on Tuesday and, after a frank discussion about the performance, his troops were ready to vent their frustrations on the Norfolk visitors to the Valley Stadium on Saturday.
“Saturday’s defeat was a huge disappointment for the club as a whole because we are well aware of the financial rewards the FA Cup can bring and, after having some poor FA Cup results in recent seasons, we were looking to perform much better this season,” said McDonald.
“From a football perspective, I have no complaints about the defeat. We were second best throughout the 90 minutes and I can very rarely recall that, if ever, during my time as Redditch manager.
“We were not at the races. Maybe the players lost some focus because it was not a league game? I am not sure.
“What I do know though is that we have a proven track record of bouncing back from setbacks and the lads are fully focused and determined to put things right against King’s Lynn.”
McDonald has been boosted by the news that centre back Will Richards and midfielder Jack Westbrook are fit to return on Saturday, whilst midfielder Max Loveridge is also in contention for a return to the squad.
“We have a clean bill of health and having Will and Jack back is a huge positive,” added McDonald, whose side have won three successive league games to climb to 12th place, just four points behind leaders Chippenham Town.
“King’s Lynn are expected to be up at the business end of the table come the end of the season so we know we need to be at our best to win.
“If we can, we will head to Slough Town on Tuesday in good spirits and obviously we have great memories from there following our 7-1 victory last season.
“If we can put a positive points haul on the board from these next two matches we will have the points total I had in mind for us after ten games, which would be really pleasing.”
Redditch are likely to have a new face between the sticks for Saturday’s encounter as 38-year-old former Worcester City keeper Jose Veiga was set to sign as the Standard went to press.
“The former Cape Verde international, who played 13 times internationally, made 130 appearances for Spanish side Levante between 1998-2002 and McDonald said the stopper could bring “invaluable experience” to the side.