Fareham Town manager Steve Stone feels his team could be facing an uphill struggle in their Wessex League premier division contest at Blackfield & Langley tonight (7.45pm).
Stone is struggling to get his team together and is still hampered by a series of injuries, suspensions and unavailabilities.
‘Getting everyone down there in the traffic is a challenge in itself,’ said the Cams Alders boss.
‘With work and a lot of young players at college, it isn’t easy for them to get away early.
‘A number of our players are students with part-time jobs.
‘And with Christmas coming up they can’t afford to give up the hours.
‘If we were paying big bucks it would be different but we aren’t.
‘It might need another Churchill-type team-talk to get the players into the right mood!
‘Sometimes it is about getting into the minds of players and convincing them they can go out and get the win.
‘I will be trying to instil that self-belief in the team.
‘The word on the street is Blackfield are the best team in the league at the moment, so it won’t be easy.’
Wayne Boud still has one game left of his three-match ban and Gary Austin is unlikely to return from injury.
Elsewhere, Horndean are keen to bounce back from their knockout disappointment when they entertain Folland Sports at Five Heads Park.
Craig Pearce’s team suffered an extra-time defeat to division one Portland United in the Wessex League Cup at the weekend.
‘We have got a lot of good players at the club and it is just a case of getting them organised and match fit,’ said the boss.
‘I am still looking at players in the squad.
‘At the moment it is a question of rebuilding and we just need a good performance to settle things down.
‘It is important we keep picking up points and being at home I am looking for a win.’
Pearce hopes to have half-a-dozen players back in contention.
He is keen to settle on a squad that is capable of taking the Five Heads Park club forward following the departure of Dave Carter for Moneyfields.
‘We are still looking for a top-10 finish as a minimum,’ said Pearce.
‘It is vital we don’t let the great start to the season slip and have to be competitive.’