PAUL SMITH insists Bromsgrove Sporting will need a perfect performance to beat Midland League Premier Division title hopefuls Sporting Khalsa this weekend.
The Rouslers boss has labelled the clash at the Victoria Ground tomorrow (Saturday) against the Willenhall side as the ‘toughest yet’ and has urged his squad to avoid making any mistakes.
Although Khalsa have had a mixed start to the new season, winning two, drawing two and losing two, Smith told the Standard Ian Rowe’s side will be at the higher echelons of the table come the end of the season.
With keeper Reece Francis suspended, Brendan Bunn continues between the sticks for Sporting while strikers Jason Cowley (groin) and Ricardo Richards (achilles) remain sidelined.
“Khalsa have not had the best of starts but they are certainly one of the title favourites so it’s going to be our toughest test yet,” Smith said.
“This is a game we have got to embrace and I am confident if we play at our best we are capable of getting a good result.
“We are going to have to put in a perfect performance to beat a very good Khalsa side who will punish every mistake we make.”
The Rouslers go into this weekend’s clash on the back of a 4-2 victory over Staffordshire side Rocester in what was the third meeting between the two sides having played against each other twice in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.
Sean Brain (2) and Robbie Bunn had raced Sporting into a 3-0 lead after 36 minutes before Rob Ritchie-Smith pulled one back five minutes before the break.
A stunning effort from Rocester’s Martyn Smyth then set up a tense finish with 15 minutes to go before Wade Malley struck in the 85th minute to secure a 4-2 victory for Smith’s men.
But the Sporting boss was far from impressed with his team’s performance.
“We are conceding too many sloppy goals at the moment,” he said.
“If you switch off, teams are going to give it a real good go which Rocester did but luckily we managed to find the extra goal.
“However, it is not my cup of tea, this outscoring the opposition no matter how many we concede because I was a centre-half and I know what it takes to defend properly.
“At the moment we are not doing the simple things right and someone will turn us over, like Coventry Sphinx did, if we keep making mistakes.
“We cannot expect to keep outscoring the opposition because some weeks we will not score enough.”