Gale calling for defensive improvements as Gosport bid to end losing Southern League run against Harrow

Theo Lewis, right, is on his way back to fitness after injury. Picture: Duncan ShepherdTheo Lewis, right, is on his way back to fitness after injury. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Theo Lewis, right, is on his way back to fitness after injury. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Shaun Gale is hoping Gosport Borough can return to winning ways in their Southern League Premier South test against lowly Harrow Borough at Privett Park (3pm).

After an excellent start, Borough have stuttered in recent weeks.

Since Hereford knocked them out of the FA Cup, they have also suffered consecutive league defeats against Walton Casuals and Met Police.

'We don't want to get into a losing habit,' said Gale.

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'Apart from at Met Police I have been happy with our performances.

'At Imber Court the tough start to the season caught up with us and we ran out of steam.

'We didn't have our usual energy and weren't at it.

'It is important that we remain focused and learn from game to game.

'We see our job as improving players and I think we have achieved that in our first five games.

'At the moment, though, we need to be better defensively.’

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After starting the league season with three clean sheets, Gosport have conceded three in each of their last three league and cup losses.

Gale is still waiting to get some of his more experienced players back from injury.

Theo Lewis, Mike Carter, Jordan Rose and Nicky Bailey have all been missing.

Gale accepts this has had a big influence, and when they return he will get the blend of youth and experience he is looking for.

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At the moment, too many of the youngsters are playing without having the older heads around to guide them.

Lewis is the closest to returning, having featured on the bench recently.

'If we can get Theo back to full match sharpness then he will give us experience and goals,' said Gale.

'When he plays high up the pitch he gets into the box and scores. He knows where the net is.

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'Though we would love to have our experienced players back, it is also important that we don't make the mistake of rushing them back too soon and losing them for longer.'

Gale has no current plans to replace targetman Elliott Charles, who found the travelling from north London too much.

Dan Wooden has done well up front, scoring two goals in the last two games, and Matt Paterson has also performed well.

Harrow Borough have endured a tough start and are still looking for their first league win.

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They have drawn one, lost four and conceded 11 goals - the worst defensive record in the division.

Apart from a 5-2 league loss at Met Police, they were also hammered 5-1 at home in the FA Cup by lower division Cray Valley.

Gale, though, is treating their defensive woes with caution.

'We know that anyone can beat anyone in our league,' he remarked.

'Harrow will be keen to turn their fortunes around and collect a first win.

'We have to make sure we don't give it to them.'