Hitchin boss Burke hoping for reaction during Bank Holiday

PUBLISHED: 14:00 24 August 2017

Mark Burke and Darren Sarll shake hands after the draw. Picture: Danny Loo

Mark Burke and Darren Sarll shake hands after the draw. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Hitchin Town manager Mark Burke is eyeing the upcoming derby double-header as the ideal time to get a reaction from his players after their 3-0 defeat to Banbury United.

The Canaries make the short trip to Biggleswade Town on Saturday, followed by a Bank Holiday Monday clash with Royston Town at Top Field.

And despite a difficult start to the Southern League season – with Hitchin still looking for their first success – Burke is confident his side can turn around their fortunes.

He told the Comet: “I am hugely disappointed. We’ve got to pick ourselves up.

“We’ve got two derbies coming up in the next two weeks so it’s going to be tough, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up.

“I’m looking for a reaction, hopefully I’ll get one. We need to work hard, stick together and I’m sure we will put it right, but we have got to make sure we do.

“A sign of a good team is one that will pick itself up and move on, so that’s what we’ve got to do.”

Burke has had a threadbare squad at his disposal so far, with a number of key players still unavailable.

The Canaries boss has had to name an inexperienced team for the first three games of the season, with the youngest side in the club’s history – with an average age of just less than 22 – being fielded against Merthyr Town on the opening day of the campaign.

Burke is looking forward to having his key players back in the squad, but stressed he did not want to use their absences as an excuse.

“I’ve got six or seven players who will be pushing for first-team places,” he said.

“I’ve got a good squad, so I don’t want to use that as an excuse.

“I am going to have to rotate it a bit more. There were some tired legs against Banbury and there are players who’ve joined the squad that haven’t played football for quite a while.

“I’ve got to take that into account a bit more and ease them in rather than chucking them in the deep end.

“What I can do is look forward to getting those players back and ensure that we do improve and head towards the right end of the table.”

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