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Singh: Barnt Green Spartak won't take Pelsall Villa's winless record into account

Craig Gibbons 23rd Feb, 2018

BARNT Green Spartak boss GJ Singh is under no illusions Midland League Division Two basement boys Pelsall Villa will be easy pushovers this weekend.

The Black Country side, who merged with Walsall Wood Reserves earlier in the campaign, are yet to register three points after 15 games.

But Lions boss Singh told the Standard that record is something he will not remind his players of tomorrow (Saturday) because he knows Pelsall are a team going through a transition period.

“Through the season teams change and even though Pelsall are bottom I cannot remember the last time someone gave them a hiding,” he said.

“They have had a few good draws recently and were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Montpellier on Saturday so it is going to be a difficult game for us.

“What is important is that we focus on own performance and I have stressed that to the lads.”

Spartak currently sit second-from-bottom at this stage of the season but have 17 league games to maintain their Step Seven status and Singh is confident in his squad’s ability of avoiding the drop.

“I have said all season our league position is not a correct showing of the way we have performed,” he said.

“Even in the games we have lost in we have done well and our league position does not justify that.

“We just need to get a few wins and we will be fine.

“I am not panicking because if we keep doing what we are doing right now we will have enough points to keep us out the bottom two.”

Meanwhile, Spartak will play fellow league rivals Smithswood Firs in the semi-finals of the Birmingham Vase on March 17 after overcoming West Midlands (Regional) League Division One side Bustlehome 6-5 on penalties on Saturday.

Bustlehome raced into a 2-0 lead after 30 minutes but a goal from Dominic Strevens reduced the arrears before the break.

Tory Herbert then stroked home a spot-kick three minutes into the second period to level before Singh’s side prevailed in the shoot-out.

“We showed great character to come from behind,” said Singh.

“At 2-0 down a team which lacked character would have folded but we managed to get back into it and in the end I was disappointed it went to penalties because we had enough chances to win the game.

“But the lads took their penalties well like I knew they would do because there is confidence in the group at the moment.”

Spartak will also play Firs on Tuesday night in the quarter-finals of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup.

“We can’t control the draw so we will have to give it our best shot in both games against Smithswood and see where it takes us,” said Singh.

“We have to beat the best to get to cup finals and Smithswood are a very good team.

“They go into both games as favourites but we are on a good run so we will see what happens.”

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