Brown returns as Catlin kicks off Gosport Borough reign
Mick Catlin started his Gosport Borough reign with a 3-0 defeat against Hitchin Town at Privett Park on Saturday.
The new boss, who took charge of the Southern League premier division strugglers on Thursday, accepts he faces a huge challenge.
However, the game did not tell the former assistant manager anything he didn’t already know.
Despite picking up their first point in midweek, confidence is still fragile at Privett Park.
This was clear once Borough fell behind after only five minutes.
‘I can’t fault the effort but we lacked the necessary quality going forward,’ said Catlin.
‘Once we fell behind we struggled to pick our game up.
‘We played well in spells but were nowhere near consistent enough.
‘When we did push forward we left gaps which Hitchin were quick to exploit.
‘We didn’t really do enough to get anything out of the game.
‘If we want to start climbing the table we have to be more creative in the attacking third.
‘I knew beforehand it would be difficult because there has not been a lot of time to change things.’
One change Catlin was able to make was to bring experienced midfielder Jamie Brown back to the club.
Brown went straight into the side and proved his worth.
The physical encounter suited his style of game and Borough would have struggled even more without his presence.
Brett Donnelly put the Canaries ahead in the fifth minute with the home side complaining there should have been an offside flag.
Borough’s fate was virtually sealed 10 minutes into the second half when Hitchin increased their advantage.
Goalkeeper Matt Cafer spilled a cross and the visitors converted the loose ball.
The third Canaries goal arrived in stoppage-time, leaving Borough one place off the bottom of the table – ahead of Dunstable Town on goal difference.
‘It is going to take time to get players in and change the mentality of the squad,’ added Catlin.
‘There are players who want to come and managers offering players but the transfer embargo makes it difficult.
‘I am looking for young, hungry players who want to play at our level.
‘They are out there but our situation is complicated.’