Mick Catlin faces the difficult task of lifting his Gosport Borough players’ spirits for their Southern League premier division trip to Merthyr Town tomorrow (3pm).
His inexperienced squad suffered a 7-2 drubbing at Dorchester Town on Monday night.
The recently-appointed manager was only able to take 12 players to the Avenue Stadium, but has managed to bolster his squad ahead of tomorrow’s game in south Wales.
Catlin has brought in attacker Dale Mason from AFC Portchester, Jack Breed from the academy and former Bournemouth trainee Ethan Millar.
Although the club remains under a transfer embargo, the Borough boss has managed to deregister some players to boost his squad.
‘It is not easy to deregister and register players because there is a 14-day rule,’ said Catlin.
‘Everything is geared for a Tuesday ahead of the games at the weekend.
‘It meant Monday’s match was a game too far for us – we found ourselves in an impossible situation.
‘Since then I have been able to get some players off the books.
‘It gives me a chance to bring some of the young lads through.
‘That has to be the way forward for us at the moment.
‘Admittedly, the Southern League is a harsh environment where the physicality – more than anything – is the biggest challenge.
‘The youngsters are very good technically but struggle with the physical aspects.
‘At Dorchester, they had a number of 6ft players in their side and it was men against boys.’
The continued absence of experienced duo Jamie Brown and Luke King is a big blow.
The former is likely to be missing for some time after picking up an injury in his first game back at Borough.
Defender King has started a new job, which involves training, and has ruled him out in recent games.
Catlin is hoping after this weekend that King will be available on a more regular basis.
In the meantime, the Privett Park boss has to keep relying on youngsters.
He is optimistic the latest recruits can make a key difference for Gosport.
Mason has been scoring on a regular basis for AFC Portchester in Wessex League premier division.
Breed has been away on international duty with Gibraltar under-21s and made a substitute appearance against Macedonia.
He is in the Borough Academy and can play across the midfield or at full-back.
Other new arrival Millar, 20, was on Bournemouth’s books as a youngster, but was released.
He is an attacking midfielder who has recently played at Folland Sports.
Catlin added: ‘Getting Luke King back will be a massive help to the youngsters.
‘We are operating on a week-by-week basis but, hopefully, can start moving in the right direction.’
BOROUGH: Watch, Sanchese, Medway, Saunders, Paige, Woodward, Liss, Buse, Watts, Breed, Onwuachwu, Millar, Smith, Mason, May