Gosport to get physical in crunch Concord clash

Gosport Borough attacker George Barker, left    Picture: Keith Fuller
Gosport Borough attacker George Barker, left Picture: Keith Fuller
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Mick Catlin has called on Gosport Borough to maintain their promotion push by getting physical in tomorrow’s National League South clash with Concord Rangers (3pm).

Borough welcome their opponents to Privett Park keen to end a run of three successive draws against the Essex-based outfit.

Play-off contenders Gosport sit in fourth place in the table but host an in-form Concord side belying their current mid-table position.

Rangers have not been beaten in their last nine league outings, including last month’s stalemate with Borough in the reverse fixture.

Assistant boss Catlin is expecting another tough battle and has tasked Gosport with matching the physical threat posed by the visitors, in the hope Borough’s additional quality can secure a crucial three-point haul.

‘It’s a game we need to get a victory from to keep ourselves in the play-off positions,’ said Catlin.

‘But every time we play Concord we seem to draw against them!

‘We drew 0-0 a couple of weeks ago up there and they are always very tough physical games – there is not a lot between the two sides.

‘We are going to have to be at out best to get anything from the game.

‘The first thing we will have to do is match them in the physical element of the game.

‘Once we have done that then we hope the bit of quality we have in the side in people like Dan Wooden, Justin Bennett, George Barker and Ben Harding – the technical players – have the nous to unlock their defence.’

With Concord unbeaten in 2016, Catlin believes the onus is on the home side to take the initative in tomorrow’s clash.

He added: ‘The last game became a bit of a stalemate.

‘Their pitch is quite small so it became a physical battle in which neither side gave an inch – that’s why it ended up 0-0.

‘We are hoping at home that we can take the initative and will have enough quality in the team to be able to break them down.’

A win for Borough will take them up to 55 points with eight games to play.

Catlin believes a 70-point haul will clinch a play-off spot and has paid tribute to the players for keeping themselves in the promotion picture, with the club’s recent off-the-field issues well documented.

‘The credit is to the players,’ he said.

‘The players have managed to focus on the games regardless of what is going on off the pitch.

‘That is the reason we have been in those play-off positions for some months now.

‘It is coming to the business end now, though, where if you lose a couple of game you can easily slip out of it.

‘So we know we need to focus on the next game and make sure, especially at home, we pick up three points.

‘If we can get around the 70-point mark then I think that will be enough to secure a play-off place.

‘But there is work to be done yet.’

Striker Lee Wort (hamstring) and defender Luke King (suspended) will miss tomorrow’s clash for Borough.