Mick Catlin has called on Gosport Borough’s walking wounded to win their battle for a top-half finish in the Skrill South.
Assistant manager Catlin saw Borough’s ‘bare bones’ squad beaten 1-0 at Chelmsford City on Thursday night – a result that left the 11th-place visitors a point ahead of Weston-super-Mare.
But the Privett Park side will crown a remarkable first tenure in the sixth tier of English football with a win in tomorrow’s season finale at home to Bromley (3pm).
Catlin said: ‘We’ve got something like seven injuries at the moment, so we’re really struggling.
‘We’re glad it’s the last game really – everyone’s hit their limit.
‘We’ve got a fair few players playing with niggling injuries and we’re down to the bare bones.
‘There’s a lot of tired legs, but we’ll scrape through!’
Andy Forbes (knee), Mike Gosney (ankle), Adam Wilde (ribs) Dan Wooden (foot) are all expected to miss the clash with third-place Bromley.
Brett Poate (back), Rory Williams (toe), Tom Dunford and Jason Prior (both thigh) will all be assessed before the game, as the depleted FA Trophy finalists bid to end the season in style.
Catlin said: ‘It would be massive for us to consolidate a top-half finish this weekend.
‘It’d probably be as big of an achievement as getting to the FA Trophy final at Wembley.
‘At the start of the season it was important that we stayed in the Skrill South.
‘We were bottom of the league at several stages throughout the season.
‘And although we had games in hand, when you’re at the bottom they are not always guaranteed to be turned into points.
‘Our form before Christmas didn’t really suggest we were going to get out of trouble.
‘But once we got on the FA Trophy run that instilled a bit of confidence.
‘When Wembley was over we then started catching up and finding our form with games three times a week.’
Thursday night’s setback ended a fantastic run of recent results for Borough, which saw them pull clear from relegation danger.
And though Catlin conceded the pressure was off for both sides in tomorrow’s game, he has called on his players to justify their lofty position.
He added: ‘Bromley are a very good side.
‘They are in the play-offs, but safe in the play-off places.
‘They may rest a few players with a view of that coming up, so it’s a no-pressure game for both sides.
‘We are just going to go out and enjoy it.
‘We’ve just come off the back of five straight wins which went some way to propelling us up the league.
‘Now it’s put us in a position where we feels justifies what we’ve done this season.
‘I think we could finish 10th if results went our way and we won on Saturday.
‘And that would be a great achievement for the club and everyone involved.’