Hednesford Town boss Rob Smith has moved quickly to highlight the superb desire of his squad as they look to recover from Saturday's 1-0 loss away to Worksop ready for the visit of Premier League West Bromwich Albion to Keys Park on Tuesday night before welcoming rivals Chasetown in a what is a massive game in the local area on Boxing Day.
The Pitmen lost by a single goal in a tough game in Nottinghamshire but Smith has stated that he cannot fault the commitment of his squad.
'The players give everything in every match we play and, especially in the second half, showed how much they want to win.'
The Keys Park outfit lie in third place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division and, after the plesant distraction of a Birmingham Senior Cup Quarter Final on Tuesday, face up to a Chasetown side managed by former captain, assistant and manager, Chris Brindley.
'I know Chris very well and he's a good bloke, it's very much a showpiece game for the supporters around the area. We know some of the Chasetown players, Ben Jeavons will be against his old team and so will some of their lads. As a squad we are all really looking forward to it and I love the atmosphere at local derbies.'
Gary Hay, another ex-Chasetown Pitman, is almost certain to miss the Boxing Day showdown with a groin injury picked up against Worksop but Smith noted the return of Marvin Robinson and Nick Wellecomme from suspension.
'Gary has done great for us since signing but I'll be very surprised if he makes Chasetown or even the Stafford game unfortunately. We have players returning from suspension though and Kyle Haynes has recovered from illness so I have full confidence in our squad.'
'It shows how far we have come as a team when you see the dissappointment in the players faces when we lose a match so we will be fired up for West Bromwich and even more so for Chasetown as we look to stay in the hunt.'
Tuesday's Birmingham Senior Cup Quarter Final kicks off at 7.45pm and should see a good crowd looking for a repeat of The Pitmen's heroics in their 6-5 win against Walsall in the last round. The game versus Chasetown looks very likely to beat the Winter weather as a mild week is expected and Hednesford's biggest home game of the season so far kicks off at 3pm on Monday 26th December.
The Pitmen are lending their support to the Special Needs Adventure Playground based in Pye Green by staging a bucket collection at their biggest home fixture of the season versus Chasetown on Boxing Day.
The Supporters Association have asked for volunteers to help with the fundraising alongside representatives of SNAP, a place where children with special needs can enjoy some recreational time with their families.
Hednesford supporter, Paul Parker, has organised the event in the hope of raising much needed funds for the small but vital organisation.
'It's fantastic that the Club and the SA have agreed to assist us in fundraising for a very important local charity whose volunteers help a lot of people around the Hednesford and Cannock area.'
Mark Goodwin, HTFCSA Joint-Chairman, also stated how keen his organisation, and the Club itself are to help Mr Parker's money-raising efforts, 'The Club and SA always try to be supportive to local causes and this one is no different, we are expecting a bumper crowd on Boxing Day and if Pitman Pete can recover from his mascot-sized Christmas dinner, we are hopeful he will also be at Keys Park to help.'
Anyone who would like to help SNAP raise funds on the day are asked to contact the Paul Parker via email @ firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Hednesford Town Football Club on 01543422870.