Boss Tom Grice's pride despite US Portsmouth's Portsmouth Senior Cup exit at Gosport Borough - now challenges squad to reach his Wessex Premier season points target

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'Proud' US Portsmouth boss Tom Grice told his players to hold their heads high - despite suffering a 4-0 Portsmouth Senior Cup quarter-final defeat at Privett Park last night.

And Grice wants his Wessex League Premier side to make the most of pitting their wits against Southern League Premier South opposition by achieving his season points target in their final 12 games of the campaign.

US Portsmouth ultimately came up short in their bid to spring a major cup shock against Boro, with Gosport boss Shaun Gale fielding a strong line up in the last-eight encounter.

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But despite the defeat, Grice says it's an experience the club as a whole can reflect on with great pride.

Simon Woods, centre, is available for US Portsmouth after being cup-tied in midweekSimon Woods, centre, is available for US Portsmouth after being cup-tied in midweek
Simon Woods, centre, is available for US Portsmouth after being cup-tied in midweek

Now US Portsmouth turn their attentions back to league action and a home meeting with second-bottom strugglers Hythe & Dibden on Saturday.

And Grice is hoping his troops can claim victory to push them towards the '45-50 points' target he is setting them to reach come the end of the season.

The USP boss, whose side currently sit 14th in the table with 31 points from 28 games, said: ‘Overall, I was extremely proud of the players (after the Gosport defeat), it was a good day for the club. Sometimes you've got to reflect on what we've put together considering what we've been through the past six months.‘I know we're slightly below mid-table, but the club has got a real harmonious, feel-good factor at the moment, with the reserves and first-team.

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‘We gave a good account of ourselves (at Gosport), although we lost 4-0, it was still a good day for the club.

;Attention turns to Saturday and Hythe & Dibden, they're fighting for their lives, we won't be underestimating it. If anything, we're going to be overestimating them and doing everything in our power to get what we need out of the game.

‘Ideally, I've targeted 45-50 points with 12 games to go this season. We've got 31 points at the moment so we need at least 14 points. With respect to Hythe, these are teams we're looking at getting something out of it.’

Cup-tied Simon Woods comes back into contention for US Portsmouth’s home league meeting with Hythe having been unavailable at Gosport. While both Vinnie Magee and Munir Hadi will also be available to Grice after missing the Gosport cup trip.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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