Fareham boss Stiles: We may need to sacrifice some of our good football for Wessex League trip to Bournemouth Poppies

Fareham Town may need to change their tactics as they welcome in 2020 with a Wessex League Premier Division visit to Bournemouth Poppies (3pm).

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 1:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 1:48 pm
Matt Simm, left, could make his second Fareham debut against Bournemouth this weekend. Pic: Duncan Shepherd

Reds manager Pete Stiles is pleased with the progress but believes his team may need to adapt their game at times.

'Bournemouth is not the easiest of places to go because their pitch is not great,' said Stiles.

'We have been caught out at times in such conditions when it is difficult to play our football.

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'Recently we have been working at how to win games in such situations.

'Sometimes we need to sacrifice some of our good football and be more direct.

'We haven't played for a few weeks and the danger is you can lose your rhythm.

'Our focus is on getting back playing and winning games again to see where it takes us.'

Stiles brings two new signings straight into the squad.

Defender Jack Nicholls has signed from Bashley and wide-player Matt Simm has rejoined from AFC Totton.

Gary Austin and Dan Clasby remain suspended and Ethan Jones is injured, while Gary Moody and Connor Messenbird are unavailable.

Mick Catlin is expecting a tricky test as AFC Portchester cross the Solent to take on Cowes Sports at Westwood Park (3pm).

The Yachtsmen inflicted a surprise 2-1 defeat on the Royals in the second game of the season, so the title-chasing visitors are keen to put the record straight.

Catlin also regards a win as even more imperative following last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to table-topping Alresford.

'Despite losing against Alresford we still start the year in a decent position,' said Catlin.

'It was a very close game on a heavy pitch and Alresford were just that bit stronger physically.

'Losing was disappointing, but it isn't the end of the world.

'Though we have lost to Cowes already, we have progressed a lot since then.

'Our away record is good and we toughed out two 1-0 wins before Christmas (at Shaftesbury and Bournemouth).

'This game might be more of the same.'

The Royals are likely to be without Alex Baldacchino because of a hamstring problem which forced him off during the first half against Alresford.