Mick Catlin has revealed the secret recipe behind Gosport Borough’s revival: A night out at Nando’s.
The Borough assistant manager led the troops to the popular restaurant chain for a bit of team bonding in the wake of their recent three successive Vanarama Conference South defeats.
The lads have called it the Nando’s effectMick Catlin
That run left boss Alex Pike declaring their promotion hopes were finished.
But the spicy feast has apparently rekindled Borough’s hunger and after subsequent wins over Sutton United and Maidenhead United, it’s proof they have not chickened out of their play-off ambitions ahead of tomorrow’s home showdown with Weston-super-Mare (3pm).
Catlin said: ‘It goes back to the Southern premier season when we got promoted through the play-offs.
‘We had a terrible spell in the run-in for that season – probably about the same sort of time we did this season.
‘We looked like we were out of it. We’d had a bad spell and I said “let’s get all of the lads together and go out for something to eat”.
‘But it worked and we went on a bit of a run after that.
‘We picked up a couple of results, other sides dropped points and we ended up going up through the play-offs.
‘So before the Sutton game, we went out and did it again.
‘We were looking for it to turn our season around and hopefully it has worked again.
‘The lads have called it the Nando’s effect.’
Goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore works as a waiter at Nando’s in Portsmouth and might have fancied a change of scenery but Catlin revealed there was some method to the decision.
‘We went to the Fareham one and Nathan works in the Portsmouth branch but he still got us a good discount,’ said Catlin.
‘You might think it would be the last place that he would want to go but you haven’t seen him eat!
‘He could do about four plates of chicken in one sitting, no problem.
‘We didn’t really talk about the football too much. We were just having a laugh.
‘Nowadays, the lads come training and then they disappear so you don’t get to have a chat too often.
‘So it can help take the pressure off. Sometimes you put those demands on yourselves and forget to perform. We will try anything.
‘As a group, we have never given up on the play-offs. We knew there would be twists and turns.
‘There are so many sides that have got to play each other. We’re hanging in there.’
Rory Williams sits out the second of his two-match suspension and Matt Paterson is back from his groin problem but may have to settle for a place on the bench after Lee Wort scored last week.
Catlin said: ‘Worty has done well in the past couple of games and Pato has got to earn the right to get back in the side.
‘All the time he is scoring, I dare say we are more likely to keep it the same.’
GOSPORT: (from) Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Robinson, Poate, Carter, Smith, Ramsey, Wooden, Dunford, Wilde, Wort, Bennett, Paterson, Saez, Benham, Matthews.