By Brian Jeeves
ROD STRINGER praised the job done by East Thurrock United manager, John Coventry, prior to the sides going head-to-head in the first of two huge matches over the next seven days.
The Clarets and Rocks follow up Tuesday’s League meeting at Rookery Hill with a showpiece County Cup final a week later. Nevertheless, the Chelmsford boss was looking no further than the next fixture: “John has done a terrific job at East Thurrock United, he said. “Anybody who comes up into the division knows that they are in for some tough challenges. However, this season all the promoted clubs have done very well.
“Covo has been in the game a long time and offers the Club a wealth of experience. He has assembled a good side and has used the loan market well too. Whitehawk are the sides who you have to face with the right mentality. Anything less than that and theses sides will jump all over you.
“If we don’t go to Rookery Hill and show them the ultimate respect, it will be a tough evening for us and we’ll drop more points. Everybody will be saying it is a match we should win, but I know how football works. It’s not as easy as that, we need to go there and produce an honest performance and be better than them on the night.”
Whatever the outcome at Rookery Hill on Tuesday, the Clarets chief didn’t expect the match to have any real bearing on next week’s Essex Senior Cup final between the two sides at Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium: “I don’t really see that, he continued. “The way I look at it is that the Cup Final will be exactly that. It will be staged at a nice venue on a very good pitch and will be a great day for everyone connected with both Clubs.
“We have to focus on the job in hand before we think about the final. The league game, in my opinion, will be very different. We have to be totally aware that anything can happen in football, particularly in a cup match. But our immediate focus remains on the league game with them, then Gosport Borough, before we start thinking about the final.”