Lions face testing time
COFFS United faces its biggest test this season when it squares off against New Lambton in the quarter-finals of the State Cup at BCU International Stadium this afternoon.
The Lions' preparation has been less than ideal, with wet weather and injury creating more headaches for coach Mike Smith.
Smith said yesterday the least of his concerns was the opposition.
"It's been one of those weeks. Rain has forced us to train indoors and my form player is battling to be fit," Smith said.
"I'm not that worried about New Lambton. If we can get our act together we should be able to compete.
"We trained well last night but still have plenty of room to grow.
"In my view the perception that Newcastle sides are a class above is not the case.
"With all the distractions this week it is hard to say how we will play but hopefully the boys step up to the occasion."
Coffs United will still be without talismanic striker Ben Mackay, who is serving his final game of a two-match ban.
Mackay's absence, as well as the injury to Nathan Silvy leaves the home team bereft of attacking options going into the do-or-die match.
Smith said he would look to some of the younger players in his squad to fill the void.
"We trained with a squad of 20 on Thursday night, including a large contingent from the youth team," he said.
"I have said to some of the youth team boys I may need to call on them and to be ready just in case.
"We are still hoping Nathan (Silvy) will be able to play but at this stage it is not looking good."
The match kicks off at 2pm.