Gosport Borough have every belief New Zealander Mike Ruffell can regain his touch sooner rather than later.
With leading run-scorer Tom Larner missing tomorrow’s division three home clash against Alton II, it would be the perfect time for the Kiwi to shine.
Ruffell is returning to his homeland at the end of the season after two outstanding years at Privett Park.
He has struggled for runs in the early part of this season but vice-captain Lee Harrop is backing him to come good.
‘We all know what a good player Mike is but for some reason it has just not been happening,’ he said.
‘He has all the skills but so far on match days they have deserted him.
‘Obviously he is disappointed but he is not the sort of character to let him get him down.
‘He will keep working hard at it until he changes it around and won’t let it affect him.
‘In the meantime he is just happy to be part of a winning team.’
Harrop accepts it will be tougher without the presence of Larner, who is the division’s top run-scorer – and third best in the entire Southern league.
‘We are our own worst enemy at times,’ said Harrop.
‘So far we have relied on a couple of people to get the runs.
‘What we need is a bit more solidity and a realisation that we don’t always have to be going at six runs an over.
‘If we lose a wicket we may have to rein it in and take less risks.
‘We have to bat better as a unit to take the pressure off one or two individuals.’
With Larner on holiday and Nathan Titchener dropping down to the second team, Sampath Prathapasinghe and Ross Harrop are drafted into the side.
Second-placed Waterlooville welcome lowly Fawley to Rowlands Avenue.
Purbrook are in derby action against Havant II at the Heath and will be looking to make amends for their poor showing against Fair Oak.
They were skittled out for just 79 in a comprehensive 154-run defeat.