‘I don’t want my players building this up into something it’s not’ – Moneyfields boss Turnbull set for US Portsmouth reunion in Wessex League derby
Glenn Turnbull is treating his first reunion with US Portsmouth as ‘just another game’ - and he wants his squad to do the same.
As has been well documented in The News, Turnbull took his entire management team and the majority of the USP squad with him after taking over as Moneyfields boss back in late May.
The few players he left behind will no doubt be chomping at the bit to deliver a shock away victory in tonight’s Wessex League Premier Division clash at Dover Road.
But he doesn’t want his side to get caught up in any personal sub-plots within the game.
‘The club will always be a part of me, I’ll always have a soft spot for US,’ he remarked.
‘I hope I still have quite a few friends down there, and I’ll always have the utmost respect for Bob (Brady, USP secretary).
‘But I didn’t have any association with the club before I went there. Fraser (Quirke, assistant manager) and Barton (Paul Barton, coach) have more association than me having played there and been in the Navy.
‘If it wasn’t for the Vase run, I don’t think people would make such a big deal out of it. That makes it more prevalent. It was just a time in football - it was what it was.
‘Yes, I went back and took some players but that’s football - Dave (Carter, Portchester manager) did it, I did it.
‘For me, it’s a home game and we should be looking to win all our home games - even the ones against Hamworthy, Portchester, Baffins, Horndean. That’s all I’m thinking about.
‘All the players should be the same - I don’t want them building it up into something it’s not.’
USP will arrive with a handful of players who appeared under Turnbull during his memorable two-year stay at the Victory Stadium - Tom Jeffes, Jack Chandler, John Cass, Cameron Quirke, Dan Sibley, Damien Kelsall and Frankie Paige.
Against that, Turnbull could start with seven of last season’s USP squad - Tom Price, Elliott Turnbull, Tom Cain, Harry Birmingham, Callum Glen, James Franklyn and Dec Seiden. In addition, Jordan Pile, Josh Hazell, Tyler Moret and Liam Kyle could be named on the bench.
The Moneys boss admits the game is a ‘complete role reversal’ to their weekend FA Vase success against AFC Portchester.
Prior to that game, Turnbull was keen to paint his side as underdogs, even though they are above Portchy in the Premier table. Equally, he knows Moneys are favourites to beat USP - even though the latter are above them!
If the saying ‘you’re only as good as your last game’ is accurate, USP have a tough evening ahead of them. While Moneys were dumping Portchester out of the Vase with their best display of the season, US were conceding four late goals to crash 6-1 at Fareham.
With 27 goals shipped in nine games, US have the division’s worst defensive record of any side outside the bottom three.
The fixture list has provided Moneys with a chance to kickstart a Wessex campaign which has so far brought two PO derby beatings.
A trip to rock bottom Hythe & Dibden - no points in 10 games and no goals in their last nine league and cup matches - next Saturday is followed by a trip to fourth-bottom Bournemouth Poppies on October 9.
‘I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want seven points from the next three games,’ said Turnbull.
Turnbull has signed former Pompey, Gosport and Chichester defender Ellis Martin and he could be included in the squad against USP.
Martin’s last taste of Wessex football came in 2019/20 when he made 28 league and cup starts for AFC Portchester.