Knight demands Havant response

Joe Knight, right centre, is expecting his players to put up more of a fight Picture: Mick Young
Joe Knight, right centre, is expecting his players to put up more of a fight Picture: Mick Young
Anthony Fooks. Picture: Neil Marshall (171124-346)

Pearce: Best is yet to come from Portsmouth

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Havant head into their London one south game against Brighton at Hooks Lane still searching for their first win of the season (3pm).

Coach Will Knight is hoping his team will be stung into action after their disappointing derby defeat at Gosport & Fareham.

The home side need to raise their game after what Knight described as the worst Havant performance for three years.

And captain Joel Knight believes it is time for the players to deliver.

‘After the Gosport defeat there was a lot of talking done,’ said the skipper.

‘We know as a team that we failed to turn up and didn’t play any rugby.

‘It was massively disappointing and difficult to explain.

‘All we can do is put it down to a bad day at the office.

‘We have done enough talking – now we need action.

‘The players are determined to bounce back from that defeat and actions will speak a lot louder than words.

‘We need to put in a big performance.

‘It is time for us to stand up and deliver.’

Brighton have started well, with a win and a draw, and matches between the two sides are always hard-fought affairs.

A few years ago a number of Havant players defected to the Sussex club, increasing the rivalry even further.

Steve Cruddas was one of those players but he rejoined Havant in the summer and will want to put in a good performance against his old team-mates.

Brighton arrived at Hooks Lane last season during a winning streak, only to lose.

The home side are hoping to repeat that performance and result to kick-start their season.

If they are to taste victory, the hosts will need to take their chances when they come along.

The home side possess the three-quarters to cause any opposition problems but they have to be far more clinical.

‘In the opening-day defeat by Chobham we had more than enough chances to win the game in the first half,’ said Joel Knight.

‘We failed to take our chances while they made the most of theirs.

‘Effectively, we caused all our own problems.

‘There are plenty of quality finishers in our team and we just have to make sure we do it.’

The captain knows it is important for Havant to start winning if they are to avoid another season flirting with the relegation zone.

Havant have their targets set much higher this campaign.

A number of new players joined the club in the summer and they are still bedding in.

He is confident Havant possess a squad capable of doing much better.

And feels all they need is a first win to get up and running.

‘We remain confident in what we are trying to do,’ said Joel Knight.

The home side have scrum-half Jake Reynolds making his first appearance of the season.

Last season’s player of the year, Luke Marks, comes back into the front-row.