Margate boss Andy Drury insists he will not be treating their match against Ramsgate as a friendly - and hopes his players don’t either.
Margate host Ramsgate in the Isle of Thanet Cup on Saturday before trips to Isthmian South East sides Chatham next Tuesday and Sittingbourne next Friday, having beaten Ashford 1-0 at Homelands on Tuesday through an effort from recent signing Montrell Deslandes.
“It’s not a friendly on Saturday, it’s for a cup,” Drury said.
“Even though it’s pre-season, it’s an important match for the fans.
"In my eyes, it’s not a friendly and I don’t want it to be seen as a friendly in my players’ eyes, either.
“I don’t think the Ramsgate players and management will be treating it like a friendly.”
Drury’s men had started pre-season with three wins but they have suffered back-to-back 3-1 defeats to a Fulham XI and Tonbridge.
On the loss to Angels at the weekend, as former manager Jay Saunders returned to Hartsdown Park, Drury reflected ahead of the Ashford match: “I think we were not as good as we have been.
“We were a bit sloppy at times and I said in my post-match interview that we gave them a bit too much respect. Ultimately, I don’t think we were as good as we have been.
“But we still have four games left of pre-season to get it right.”
Margate are building-up to their Isthmian Premier opener on August 13 and Drury was eager to emphasise he didn’t want to see his players showing opponents too much respect when the competitive action begins.
He said: “No, definitely not, especially not at home. I said that to the lads.
"No-one comes to our patch and is just given too much respect from us. People have to earn it.”
Drury is also urging Margate’s players to use their remaining pre-season friendlies to stake a claim for a place in his side for their season opener at home to Kingstonian.
Gate’s manager, who last week signed young midfielder Deslandes from former club Whitstable and striker Harvey Smith after a successful trial, said: “There’s shirts up for grabs for August 13.
“The players’ performances will pick the team, I just write it on the sheet.”
James Bessey-Saldanha netted against Tonbridge while Kieron McCann scored a consolation goal against Fulham.
Bessey-Saldanha only recently agreed to stay with the club after joining from Bearsted and impressing in his debut campaign, and Drury is looking forward to working with him.
He said: “Beesey-Saldanha has certainly got ability. We will be looking to bring it out of him over the course of the season.
“He can change matches with moments.
"I’m looking forward to working with him."
Ramsgate, who beat Herne Bay 3-2 last weekend through Jordan Chiedozie's effort and two-goal Josh Ajayi, play Dover tonight (7.30pm kick-off).