Mullen urges Spartans to build on good cup run in league

Blyth Spartans midfielder Damen Mullen in action. Picture by Bill Broadley
Blyth Spartans midfielder Damen Mullen in action. Picture by Bill Broadley

Blyth Spartans midfielder Damen Mullen hailed the club’s recent FA Cup run as “a brilliant experience” but urged his side to start picking up league points as they look to acheive their pre-season aim of an Evo-Stik Northern Premier League play-off spot.

The midfielder played his part in the cup run that saw Spartans thrust into the national limelight after reaching the third round before being knocked out by SkyBet Championship side Birmingham City.

Mullen now wants Spartans to put the run behind them and focus on the challenges ahead.

He said: “The cup run was a brilliant experience for everyone involved and I’m sure at the start of the season we would have taken the chance of playing in the FA Cup third round in an instant.

“However, our aim at the start of the season was to at least reach the play-offs, which is more than an achievable target, so now it’s all about getting the points on the board to help us do that.”

The recent 2-0 home win against bottom club Belper Town was Spartans’ first win in four games.

Mullen admitted there had been “a little blip” but wants his side to build on the win.

“Prior to the Belper game we had a little blip with three consecutive defeats, but now we’ve ended that with a victory it’s a case of gaining momentum and climbing the table,” he added.

“We shouldn’t forget we have another good chance of reaching the Northumberland Senior Cup final and hopefully this time we will have silverware to show for it.”

Spartans face a hectic final three months of the season as a result of their FA Cup run.

The club has as many as ten games in hand on their league rivals and will have a packed fixture list between now and May.

That is sure to stretch the squad and will more than likely force manager Tom Wade rotate his players accordingly.

Mullen was honest enough to admit that the players will have to get used to rotation but also felt that the Spartans boss would give players a run in the side if they perform well.

He said: “Obviously everyone wants to play every minute of every game as no one likes being left out, but if someone is doing well you need to be patient until your chance comes.

“Although squad rotation gives everybody the chance to play and helps with recovery, I believe that if you play well you keep your shirt regardless of how many games are forthcoming as this increases confidence the more games you play”

Meanwhile Saturday’s trip to Trafford FC was postponed due to a frozen pitch. It will be rescheduled for later in the season.

On Saturday, January 24, Spartans are due to entertain fourth placed Curzon Ashton at Croft Park, kick-off 3pm.