Interim manager Marty Wallace wants to lead AFC Portchester until end of season - and deliver promotion ambition
Interim manager Marty Wallace is keen to remain in charge of AFC Portchester for the rest of the season.
But the Royals' caretaker boss acknowledged the run of five games before the new year could be crucial in determining whether he is allowed that chance.
Former first-team coach Wallace is looking to capitalise on the 'great opportunity' he has been handed following the dismissal of ex-manager Mick Catlin in October.
The man in temporary charge inherited a squad low on confidence when he took the reigns with the team having lost four of their opening eight Wessex League Premier Division matches.
Wallace did manage to raise the spirits somewhat prior to the month-long 'non-elite' football suspension with a 3-0 home league win over Blackfield & Langley on October 31.
Despite more than four weeks between that fixture and a return to action at Bournemouth Poppies tomorrow night, the interim boss is urging his troops to pick up where they left off.
And Wallace insisted he is open to remaining in charge until the end of the season should the opportunity be given to him.
‘In the short-term, we’re looking to really consolidate for the rest of the calendar year. It’s a busy time over the festive period, we’ve got five games and a lot of local derbies,’ said Wallace.
‘The next five games is the immediate future and that’s what we’re absolutely concentrating on.
‘I’ve been at the club for six years now.
‘The club itself, emotionally, means a huge amount to me.
‘It’s just been a great opportunity to test myself at Wessex level as a manager in my own right as opposed to a first-team coach.’
Portchester currently sit ninth in the table but have only played nine league matches.
Despite the 13-point gap between them and table-toppers Hamworty United, who they host on Saturday, Wallace is not giving up on the goal lifting the title this season.
And what better way for the interim manager to bid farewell before being assigned to a ship for his naval day job then to claim the title and promotion to the Southern League before his departure.
Wallace added: ‘Realistcially, my short-term availability is for the rest of this season and then I’m in the lap of the gods as to my availability going forward.
‘If we win our games in hand we’re sort of six or seven points in hand and knowing how the Wessex season usually pans out post Christmas - with the volume of games - anyone who can put a significant run together can make strides up the table.
‘Until it’s mathematically impossible the absolute goal is to win the league and gain that promotion.'