‘My players won’t even know I’m not there’ – Fareham boss Stiles starts stadium ban
Pete Stiles has every confidence his Fareham Town side will be able to cope without his presence on the touchline at Amesbury Town tomorrow.
The Creeksiders' boss begins the first of a two-game stadium ban for comments made in the FA Cup defeat at Frimley Green last month.
In his absence, coaches Matt Powell and Sam Dixon will take on matchday duties with the help of the injured Gary Austin.
Fareham have made a flying start to the campaign, winning their last four Wessex League Premier matches to see them top the table on goal difference.
And Stiles insists the players won’t notice his absence in Wiltshire.
‘We’re looking forward to it but I won’t be there because I’m banned,' he said.
‘They’ll be all right (the players).
‘They’re well drilled and I’ve got every confidence in the coaches that will be taking the team.
‘They won’t notice that I’m not at the game.'
Fareham head into the fixture on the back of a thumping 8-2 home win over Portland United - the club’s biggest Wessex League win for 12 years.
In contrast, Amesbury - bottom of the table last term when life went into lockdown - have picked up just one point from three league fixtures.
But after losing at Amesbury last term, and with a poor recent record against struggling teams, Stiles sees it as a great opportunity for Fareham to show they can be more consistent.
‘We’ve had a habit of going to places we’re expected to win and we’ve lost.
‘If we’re going to be a decent side this year, we’ve got to go and pick up three points - I don’t care whether it’s 1-0 or 10-0.'
The Reds will be without Austin, who faces two months out with a knee injury, and George Davis (back) for the trip to Amesbury.
But Connor Messingbird is available again after serving a suspension.
Fareham lost 3-1 at Amesbury in January with Billy Connor, currently at Baffins Milton Rovers, scoring twice.
That was one of Amesbury’s three wins in 28 league games in 2019/20.