Mick Catlin believes Gosport Borough need to have more self-belief after suffering a 4-0 loss to Banbury United in Southern League premier division last night.
The Privett Park outfit are still without a league win this season and paid the price of conceding two early goals yet again.
Although Borough continued to live dangerously, they got themselves into the game more than they have recently and gave the Banbury defence a number of anxious moments.
Boss Catlin took the positives from the game but still recognises big improvements are needed.
He said: ‘We need a bit more self-belief.
‘Once again, we struggled with the physical challenge of a big, strong side.
‘In the first 16 minutes, they sent in three crosses and scored three goals.
‘That set the tone early on and made it difficult for us.
‘Their two wide lads caused us problems all night and we were punished for our early mistakes.
‘At half-time, when we trailed 3-0, I told the players to go out, keep playing and do the right things.
‘They did that and there were a number of good performances.
‘We created a few chances and gave them a bit more to think about.
‘It doesn’t get any easier, though.’
Borough made a disastrous start and fell behind on three minutes.
Banbury striker Jefferson Louis rose to head home a cross under pressure from Gosport goalkeeper Lewis Watch.
The hosts responded immediately, however, with Iffy Onwachwu having and effort cleared off the line.
But it soon went from bad to worse for Catlin’s troops and they conceded again in the sixth minute.
Ravi Shamsi created space for a shot, which was deflected past Watch and into the back of the net.
There was no let-up for Borough, who had a number of close calls.
Twice the ball was cleared off their line, while Watch was called into action to deny Conor McDonagh.
Matt Buse went closest for Gosport when he forced a full-stretch save from Jack Harding in the Banbury goal.
As the interval approached, the hosts improved and asked a few questions of the visitors’ defence, although the crossbar saved Borough twice in as many seconds.
The woodwork came to Gosport’s rescue again on 59 minutes when Darren Pond’s volley was deflected against the underside of the crossbar.
Catlin’s men had become far more competitive, though, making life more difficult for the visitors.
They looked more stable at the back and Dale Mason was denied by a fine save from Harding.
But as Borough tired, McDonagh got between two defenders to head in the visitors’ fourth goal nine minutes from time.