WORCESTER City will be hoping to avoid a third defeat at the hands of Stourport Swifts in the opening months of the new season when the pair go head-to-head in the first round of the Midland Football League Cup.

Swifts have already done the league double over City in the 2022/23 campaign.

Jack Bailey scored a stoppage time winner at Claines Lane back in September before City were well beaten at Walshes Meadow two weekends ago by three goals to nil.

But under caretaker boss Stewart Watkins, City will be hoping to build on an improved performance at the weekend, despite bowing out of the FA Vase.

"It is really disappointing to be out but I thought the effort and energy from the players, I couldn't fault it," he said.

"The lads worked really, really hard.

"In the last few weeks, the energy is what has been missing. We need to be prepared to run and graft, the quality will come."

As the usual reserve team boss, Watkins brought in a number of players from his side to make their debuts for the senior team in that 1-0 defeat to Wellingborough Town on Saturday.

And Watkins is prepared to give more of them a chance in the coming weeks.

"These reserve lads are chomping at the bit to play for the shirt and that's what we want," he added.

"We want that attitude but we also want that natural progression from the reserve and youth teams into the firsts. We want to see them coming through, they are all really good lads.

"They are pushing the senior lads for the shirt and that's how it needs to be and I know I can give more of them some game time going forward."

Despite what has been an awful beginning to the new campaign, the loyal fanbase turned out in their numbers to support the side on Saturday.

It's been a rough few months but Watkins urges the fans to stick with the team and turn up on Tuesday to urge the team on.

"The fans were tremendous," he said.

"There has been a lot of doom and gloom, But I thought the lads put a shift in and the fans responded.

"To lose a game and get clapped off the pitch says everything to me. The fans are crucial, they set the environment and the tone for us to play."

Kick-off on Tuesday is at 7:45pm and you can follow updates throughout on the Worcester News website.