Sharpe ready to stoke the fire

Sporting boss Gavin Sharpe loves the fact his side has been labelled as the ‘Stoke City’ of the MJSL and says his players are ready to kick Hyde Park’s Peter Morrison Cup hopes in to touch.

Rovers manager David Domb has likened Sporting’s style of play to that of Tony Pulis’ Stoke ahead of the weekend’s clash at Frederick Road.

City’s physical nature and their use of the long ball has often been criticised, despite their success in reaching last year’s FA Cup final and qualifying for the Europa League.

But Sharpe has taken Domb’s words as a compliment and says his players have no intention of holding back when the teams go head-to-head on Sunday.

“I think what David said was a real compliment to our team,” said Sharpe.

“He knows that we can hurt them and get stuck into them and that’s how we play the game.

“We’re going to chase everything and snap away at their heels because that’s how I want my team to play.

“We will battle, we’ll fight and we know how to win games, so David’s right in what he’s saying.”

Sporting were beaten 4-0 by Rovers in their last meeting and have injury concerns over star striker Rafi Bloom and influential midfielder Adam Schwinger.

But Sharpe is adamant his side will be ready for Rovers and with both teams out of the title race, the Sporting boss is expecting an epic encounter between two clubs desperate for silverware.

He added: “Hyde Park are a very good side and David’s done a good job there because it’s so difficult to make a team out of guys who have never played together.

“When we played them last time we had a lot of injuries and had a very weakened side out, so this time will be different.

“The guys played really well to get a point against South Manchester last weekend and the fun times are back at Sporting.

“We had a little blip where people weren’t enjoying themselves but we had a great training session last week and we’re raring to go.”

    Last updated: 2:49pm, November 15 2011