GOSPORT BOROUGH go to Royston Town in the Southern League premier division with manager Alex Pike still looking for his first point.
Borough have lost all three games since he was reinstated as manager just before Christmas.
He knows the squad he inherited is unlikely to be good enough to keep Borough in the premier division and he has already looked to strengthen it.
He brought in central defender Nathan Walker from his former club Hamworthy United and right-back back Corey Cherritt, from Whitchurch United.
Both made their first appearance in the 4-0 New Year’s Day defeat at the hands of Weymouth.
It is a second spell at Borough for Walker, having also featured for Dorchester, Weymouth and Poole Town in his career.
There is, however, some confusion over the status of Walker and his availability.
Hamworthy manager Brendon King is claiming, though Walker signed dual-registration forms, he very much remains a Hammers player.
King insists Walker will only be available for Borough when the Dorset club don’t require him.
Pike is also unclear about the situation.
‘I left it to the chairman to sort out and was under the impression he was coming to us permanently,’ said the Borough boss.
‘Until I speak to the player I don’t know, but he wasn’t available this weekend anyway.’
Pike has also boosted his management team with the appointment of former Whitchurch boss Carl Bennett.
‘Carl was manager at Wessex League Romsey Town for two seasons and for the last three seasons he has occupied the hot seat at Whitchurch,’ added the Gosport manager.
‘In his first season he guided them to sixth position in the league – their highest ever finish in the premier division.
‘He has a wealth of knowledge of football in the area and the Wessex League, something I want to tap into.’
Borough have also put in a seven-day approach for AFC Portchester’s combative midfielder Joe Noakes.
With his side yet to score in his three games back in charge Pike also desperately needs a goalscorer.
He is also on the verge of recruiting 18-year-old Baffins Milton Rovers striker Joel Jackson, who has been at Moneyfields.
Borough will need to show a big improvement in this area and also in their fitness levels if they are to upset their Hertfordshire hosts, who are unbeaten in their last four games and will be confident.
Defensively Borough must be on their mettle with Royston including former Cambridge United and Stevenage frontman Andy Marriott.
He has scored nine goals in 11 games and featured in Lincoln City’s famous FA Cup run last season.
Pike feels his team have competed well in games until running out of steam in the later stages.
Borough are two points behind nearest rivals Dunstable Town with three games in hand.