DARLINGTON manager Josh Gowling wants his players to “roll their sleeves up” for their second round FA Trophy tie at Scunthorpe on Saturday.

Quakers go to Scunthorpe on the back of an embarrassing 8-0 thumping at Chorley in midweek, and also knowing that they lost 4-0 at Glanford Park in the league game earlier in the season.

However, Gowling believes that his players will recover from their ordeal at Chorley, by putting in a good performance, even though the Trophy isn’t their top priority – league survival is the main focus this season.

“It’s important to go out there and put on a good display, that’s the main thing,” he said.

“We had a good chat on Thursday about the Chorley game, which was one of the strangest games I’ve ever been involved in. The seventh goal (the own goal by Adriano Moke) summed it up. I can’t really put it into words, it was a bizarre game. Yes, the performance wasn’t very good and we’re not going to make any excuses for that, but we’ve got to bounce back.

“I don’t think I’d lost by more than two goals before I came here. We’ve lost 4-0 at Tamworth a few weeks ago and then lost like that on Tuesday. I can’t really put it into words, it hurts. It’s been a tough couple of days for everybody.

“But we have to move on from it, there’s no point in dwelling on it. If you take the scoreline out of the equation, if you’d said you’d take two wins against Farsley and Chester out of four games, then you would. I’m looking at the league table and we’re climbing the table and other teams are coming the other way. From that perspective, there are positives to take.”

Heads were inevitably down after the game on Tuesday, but Gowling thinks that the players are in good shape mentally.

“The lads are in decent spirits. We know what we need to do to get out of our situation in the league. If we keep the current run that we’re on – win one, lose one – then we’re going to be more than safe.

“We need to be better in facing adversity, when things don’t go our way. Look at the Chorley game – they scored after 4 minutes, we had a red card on 6 minutes, then there was a knock when Jake Lawlor did his shoulder, then another knock when Jarrett Rivers had a groin injury.

“But we have to move on from it. When you have a really bad result, you want to put that right. Our focus is the league, we’ll look at the lads and see how they are.

“This game is more for me of rolling our sleeves up and seeing a response from Tuesday night. We’ve got a good group, they’re a good bunch and I’m sure we’ll get a positive reaction.”

Gowling has several issues to be concerned with. Defender Kieran Barton has gone back to Hartlepool at their request after the end of his loan, while another central defender, Jake Lawlor, is out with a shoulder injury.

Ben Liddle, Mitch Curry and Jordan Windass are also all out, so youngster Kenzie Harker will probably be included.

New signing Akwasi Asante is unlikely to play any part following his arrival in midweek. “He needs some training sessions, we have to make sure that we get him fit and healthy.”

Scunthorpe are currently third in the table, but lost in midweek at King’s Lynn.