Gosport Borough have been told to start winning at home or face being stuck in a fight for survival.
Borough welcome fellow Southern League premier strugglers Hitchin Town to Privett Park tomorrow (3pm).
Alex Pike’s men have won just once at home all season in the league and must do better if they are to avoid a relegation dogfight.
Assistant manager Mick Catlin regards tomorrow as a must-win game ahead of the busy Christmas period.
‘We need to find some home form and start picking up more points,’ said Catlin.
‘Grinding out draws away from home is only any good if we start winning at home.
‘We are coming up to the halfway point in the season and the stark reality is we have underachieved.
‘A grand total of three wins isn’t good enough and that is why we are where we are in the league.
‘It is an old adage but these games against teams below or around us in the league are regarded as six-pointers.
‘The players know how important this game is and how vital the three points could prove.
‘A couple of back-to-back wins can easily take us closer to mid-table security.’
Gosport hope to strengthen their midfield with the return of Jamie Brown (foot injury), Nathan Kirby (on loan at Hayling) and James Ford (work) but Danny Smith is definitely ruled out with a hamstring strain.
Bideford’s midweek win over Kettering saw Borough drop to just one place above the drop zone and only two points ahead of tomorrow’s visitors.
Gosport therefore have the added incentive of having to win to stay out of the bottom two.
‘It is time to produce our good away form at home,’ said Catlin.
‘We have struggled at home because visiting teams have tended to sit deep and we have struggled to break them down.
‘On a number of occasions we have got ourselves into good positions only to shoot ourselves in the foot.
‘We have been guilty of giving away silly penalties or making stray passes.
‘It’s been one basic error after error.
‘At this level you get punished for mistakes every time and we have to cut them out.
‘The players know they are playing for their shirts and if they don’t do it we will freshen things up.’
Striker Stefan Gaisie has been released by Gosport for the moment so he can get games in south London where he is based.
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, May, Woodward, Poate, Molyneaux, Pearce, Igoe, Wilde, Ford, I Jones, Bennett, Brown, Wooden, Cook, Stow, Kirby