Challenge is set to former Portsmouth striker after grabbing first Gosport Borough goals
Shaun Gale praised striker Bradley Lethbridge after grabbing his first Gosport Borough goals but insisted: He still needs to show more.
The former Pompey attacker has struggled to force his way into boss Gale's thinking after arriving from Bognor in the summer.
Lethbridge, 20, who was released by the Blues in the summer of 2019, netted his first Gosport goals with a double in last night's 2-1 Hampshire Senior Cup second round triumph over Sholing at Privett Park.
The forward has struggled with ankle issues during his brief stint with Boro, restricting him to just two appearances this season, while Gale revealed he has held discussions with the attacker about his fitness.
But the Gosport boss is hoping Lethbridge's cup double can provide him the springboard to become more 'mobile' and force his way into first-team contention.
Gale said: ‘He’s had a tough start, Bradley. He knows my thoughts, he knows what I think of him.
‘I like the kid, he’s a good player, but he’s had a couple of problems with his ankle and he needs to get himself fitter. If he is fitter than what he was then Bradley is effective - he can play and score goals.
‘It’s got to be a turning point for him to say, ‘I can score goals, I can force my way into the side,’ that’s on one game, he knows he still needs to do more, there’s got to be a lot more coming from him and he’s got to buy into it as well.
‘I get he needs games, he needs game time and to play, but as I’ve spoken to him, he’s get to get himself to a level where he can force himself into the team to get game time.
‘In the Southern League, you need to be fit, you need to be ready, the way we want to play you need to be mobile.’
After exiting the FA Cup at Yate Town last weekend and the Hampshire Senior Cup victory over Sholing last night, Boro make a welcome return to Southern League Premier South action on Saturday.
A storming start to the campaign sees them sitting second and with Tiverton Town (Saturday) and Wimborne (Wednesday) visiting Privett Park in the space of five days, Gale wants Gosport to continue their flying league start.
The Boro boss said: ‘Everyone else outside the circle will be saying Gosport should get six points (from home games with Tiverton and Wimborne). You only get what you deserve and we’ve got to go and earn them and they’ll be two very tough games.
‘Tiverton are one one of the fancied sides in the league, they haven’t started great, but it’s a long season.
‘We’ve got to make sure, first and foremost, we get maximum points on Saturday or give ourselves the best opportunity to get maximum points. The only way we’ll do that is if we perform to the levels we have in the games.’
Gale will assess both striker Dan Wooden (ankle) and centre-back Matt Briggs (hamstring) ahead of the weekend after the pair missed the FA Cup trip to Yate.
Meanwhile, Bradley Tarbuck could again be fit enough to feature in the match-day squad having recovered from his groin injury.