Gosport Borough have drafted in some Premier League experience to their coaching staff ahead of the New Year’s Day derby rematch with the Hawks.
Former Southampton duo Jason Dodd and Paul Williams have both joined the Borough backroom team on a permanent basis and will be in the dugout at Privett Park today (3pm).
Boss Alex Pike believes the move will add some fresh impetus to his players at a time when results have started to tail off.
Pike said: ‘They will be involved in every aspect.
‘They will bring some new and fresh ideas.
‘Those two have played in the Premier League and must have more than 1,000 games between them.
‘I’ve watched them taking a session and the way the players bought into it was good to see.
‘It freshens things up nicely and gives us a bit of impetus.’
Dodd played 398 times for Southampton and, alongside assistant Williams, was in charge of the club’s academy until the end of last season.
And his contacts have already helped secure a former St Mary’s prospect, with Andy Robinson agreeing a move from Dorchester.
The 22-year-old defensive midfielder made one first-team appearance in a league cup clash but was then loaned out to Bolton at the end of last season.
Although he won’t feature against the Hawks, Pike is pleased to have another quality midfielder.
But the boss denied he has been brought in to replace Mike Carter, who has been attracting interest from several Football League clubs.
‘I rely very heavily on Danny Smith and Mike Carter in central midfield and he gives me another option,’ said Pike.
‘I don’t see him as a replacement, I see him as a good addition.’
Ahead of the derby clash, Pike is eager to end a run of form that has seen Borough slip out of the play-off places.
He said: ‘It feels like we’re having a blip at the moment and we have put ourselves under pressure.
‘We’ve only taken five points out of a possible 15 and that has seen us drop out of the top five.
‘Every team has a blip but it’s important to get a win as soon as possible, so we are under pressure.
‘More spice has been added to this because we lost on Boxing Day.
‘I felt we played our part in a good game but, looking at the DVD, we conceded three horrendous goals.
‘People didn’t do their jobs and it’s not like my back four.’
Striker Justin Bennett looks certain to return to the side after he was rested for the 1-1 draw with Concord Rangers on Sunday.
‘Sometimes you have to make those decisions as I did with Justin Bennett and Dan Wooden against Concord,’ added Pike.
‘I wanted to rest them with a view to other games coming up.
‘But I won’t be resting anyone for this one.’
GOSPORT BOROUGH (from): Ashmore, Molyneaux, Muleba, Forbes, Pearce, Poate, Williams, Dunford, Carter, Smith, Wooden, Ramsey, Wilde, Bennett, Paterson, Wort, Saez