'There's not any given right to win a game at this level' - Stokoe making sure complacency will not be an issue for Magpies

·2-min read
Wimborne begin their campaign at home to Cinderford this afternoon (Pic: Steve Harris)
Wimborne begin their campaign at home to Cinderford this afternoon (Pic: Steve Harris)

WIMBORNE boss James Stokoe is not concerned by his charges’ heavy defeat in their final pre-season game – believing that the fixture serves as a reminder of avoiding complacency ahead of the curtain raiser with Cinderford Town (kick-off 3pm).

In their first game back in the eighth tier following relegation last term, Magpies host a side that narrowly avoided the drop themselves, staying up by winning a relegation play-off.

On paper and with the bookies Wimborne will be big favourites, but after a pre-season that saw seven wins on the bounce prior to a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Basingstoke, Stokoe is keen to point out that no one is taking anything for granted at the New Cuthbury.

Explaining his reasoning behind the tough final test of pre-season, Stokoe told the Daily Echo: “That's why we put that game in that slot.

“We knew Basingstoke would be really competitive a week before the season.

"They finished in the playoffs last year in the sideways equivalent league. And yes, it’s a little bit of a grounding for the lads, just to not get carried away with how well pre-season results had gone.

“It just reminds us that you've got to go out there and work hard, first and foremost, the right to win a game of football.

“It’s not a given that you will turn up anywhere in this league and win a game without the right application.

“So it was a good test and a good reminder that complacency can creep in when you're doing well, and we can't allow that to happen this season.”

Handed a seemingly kind return to life in the Southern League Division One South, Stokoe stressed that his charges would have approached the opening day of the season the same way, no matter their opponents.

When asked if he was happy with the opening fixture, Stokoe responded: “Not really concerned. Pre-season is long and I think it gets a little bit tedious, when you're just playing games for the sake of playing games.

“Everybody wants to be playing for something, and we will be on Saturday, we’ll be playing for three points.

“Cinderford is still going to be a tough side to beat. There's not any given right to win a game at this level.

“And they've gone and got a couple of experienced players and people like Mike Symonds up front who's been around, at Hereford, Evesham, Weston-super-Mare, those sorts of clubs.

“He's an experienced striker and if they play the right way, he can cause us problems.

“So, yeah, we just got to go out and do the job and do it professionally and hopefully that will get us the three points.”