Bognor still hungry but staying up is difficult

Sami El-Abd
Sami El-Abd
Moneyfields manager Dave Carter

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Bognor head to Hungerford hoping for a change of fortune as injuries and lack of a goalscorer have continued to wreck their hopes of staying in National League South, writes Steve Bone.

They now have only 16 games to save their skins.

At Hungerford, Rocks manager Jack Pearce will be without skipper Sami El-Abd, whose hamstring injury makes him the fifth centre-half at the club to have been crocked this season. He is out for a fortnight.

But news of other centre-halves is better – Manny Adebowale’s loan continues until after this weekend and Keaton Wood may be fit to return.

Asked if surviving the drop was still on, Pearce said: ‘There’s enough points and if you get them you will survive.

‘But look at the logic of it. We have six players unavailable through injury who we’re having to pay, we lost another one (El-Abd) and we struggle to sign players.

‘So yes we can survive but it’s going to be very difficult.

‘At home we’re having lots of possession and playing quite well with a good spirit; unfortunately we’re still getting beaten. We know what we need but it’s not easy.

‘I don’t think any clubs have come to the Lane this year and outplayed us – not even Leyton Orient outplayed us.

‘We have the ability to stay in the league but we do need those one or two extra players in the vital areas to turn possession into goals.

‘They’re not in this area – I’d be more upset if there were people in this area who could do that for us.

‘So we have to get them in and that proves very difficult.’

The 3-0 defeat at home to Wealdstone last Saturday was a huge disappointment.

‘It’s a disastrous result. You can’t dress it up any other way,’ added Pearce.

‘When you’re in our position and you’re playing at home, to get beaten 3-0 is, on the face of it, a hammering.

‘In general I can’t fault the players’ effort.

‘Their effort is as good as anything I’ve had in all the time I’ve been here.

‘But it is a very, very hard league.’