MANAGER Jimmy Shan has challenged Solihull Moors to hit the ground running in tonight’s home game with National League leaders Torquay United – their first outing at the SportNation.bet Stadium since January 5.
The Moors have essentially been exiled from their home turf – be it a consequence of bad weather or COVID-19 postponements – and have consequently faced seven away games in succession in both the FA Trophy and league, meaning Tuesday night’s clash with the National League pace-setters will provide a welcome dose of home comforts once more.
Currently placed in 14th after a goalless draw at Weymouth last time out, Solihull know they could potentially shoot up to eighth with extra games in hand on the sides above them, leaving Shan positive about the much-needed refresher that the encounter will offer from the arduous nature of life on the road.
“We spoke [with the players] about the amount of travel that we’ve done playing a part and taking it’s toll [on fatigue], it was the last away game that we face until Saturday, so hopefully we can put that to bed against Torquay on Tuesday night,” said the 42-year-old.
“If you win your home games, and at least draw your away games, then you’ve got a very good chance of getting promoted and getting up.
“It’s the end of seven consecutive away games, we haven’t performed in the manner and the fashion that we want to, which is disappointing, but we’ve got to put it to bed.”
Gary Johnson’s Gulls have lost just five matches this season, including only two defeats away from home, topping the division by four points ahead of second-placed Sutton United.
However, it is a position that has weakened slightly, as a result of Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Halifax Town.
It has been a year-and-a-half since the two teams last met, though it was a result which reflected kindly on Solihull given the 3-0 scoreline in their favour.
That day, on August 6, 2019, Moors hit the front through Jamey Osborne’s bullet into the back of the net, followed quickly by Terry Hawkridge’s penalty.
And before the break, Osborne followed up his goal-scoring exploits with a wonderful second – a volley slipped into the corner – to leave United stunned at half-time.