Jimmy Adams backed Hampshire’s under-fire middle order batsmen to come good after Dominic Cork’s side took a foothold in their Championship clash with Sussex.
With the visitors resuming on 321 for three overnight, David Griffiths sparked Hampshire into life with a three-wicket burst in the morning session to restrict Sussex to 438 all out.
While still an imposing total, it was nothing like what it could have been after the batsmen dominated the first day’s play.
Hampshire replied with Liam Dawson (60) and Adams (24) making another impressive opening stand.
However, Adams fell to a poor decision, with the duo just two runs short of their fourth century partnership of the season so far.
Dawson and Neil McKenzie (six) followed soon afterwards to raise fears of another batting collapse.
But although Johann Myburgh (18 not out) and James Vince (15 not out) steadied the ship, the hosts will feel the pressure when they resume on 145 for three today.
Adams, however, believes Hampshire’s mis-firing batters are ready to rise from their slump.
He said: ‘You support them but you know that they are quality players.
‘They are all proven performers and it’s just a matter of time before that innings comes around.
‘Sometimes luck plays a part but everyone is working hard on their own games.
‘I think we all want to be scoring runs and contributing. As a team, we know the first session is very important.
‘If we can get through relatively unscathed, we can do well in this game.’
Dawson looked in great nick for his fourth half century of the campaign.
But he was tempted by a wide one soon after the dismissal of Adams, who felt he had not hit the ball despite being given out caught behind.
Adams, who is normally a laid-back individual and rarely complains over a bad decision, showed his frustration as he walked off and admitted it had been exaggerated as his side then lost another two in quick succession.
He said: ‘I was disappointed because I felt it hit my back arm but it rubs a bit of salt in the wound if you lose a couple of quick wickets after it.
‘But I may have got away with one earlier in the innings with an lbw shout so you can’t have it both ways.
‘I probably should have held back a bit of frustration until you get to the changing room but, fingers crossed, we will have a good start on day three and it won’t matter too much.
‘You get a bit of red mist for a while and then you feel a bit sheepish afterwards for showing it.
‘It’s frustrating because you feel you put in some hard work and you need a little bit of luck at the same time, which wasn’t there on this occasion.
‘But I thought we bowled outstandingly and I think we would have settled for 438 because they were in a strong position overnight. It was a really good team effort.
‘It was disappointing to lose a few quick wickets in the final session but if we can do a good job with the bat, we should be in a decent position.’