Harrogate face their biggest test of character so far this season when they entertain Sunderland at Granby on Saturday (1.30pm push back), according to coach Gary Nash.
His troops were left with a great deal of soul-searching to do after a shock 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Lincoln Roses.
The North Division Two East leaders were previously unbeaten in the league but were brought back down to earth with a poor display against an impressive Roses side.
“The style of free flowing hockey Harrogate enjoys makes us an unpredictable side and hard to defend,” said Nash.
“However the downside to this is when things go wrong we have no set structure to turn things around and we are exposed to the occasional bad result. Saturday was more than disappointing after the great start. I am looking for the players to commit to bouncing back this week against Sunderland with a good performance and put Lincoln well and truly behind us.”
‘Gate found themselves behind early on in the game as Lincoln’s pace, movement and superior teamwork caused problems throughout, and the visitors were never able to gain a foothold.
The second period did not start much better for Stu Norman’s side and a shell-shocked Harrogate were left to reflect on a disappointing performance which saw their lead at the top of the table cut to two points. Harrogate will be boosted by the return of Luke Lambert, who has rejoined from Preston. The former Ben Rhydding attacker had a spell at the club last season and became a fans’ favourite.
with his pace and directness.
“We are delighted to have Luke Lambert returning to Harrogate who made a huge impact last season and he will give everyone a much needed lift,” added Nash.