GOSPORT BOROUGH are in upbeat mood as they go to Redditch United in the Southern League premier division.
Boss Alex Pike has brought in a host of different players but is still looking for his first win.
There are signs, however, that the team are starting to gel and improve.
They are beginning to look more organised and with the arrival of Ryan Pennery from Moneyfields present a greater threat going forward.
Though Borough seem to have stemmed a series of five-goal defeats, Pike is concerned his team are still to keep a clean sheet.
The situation wasn’t helped at Hitchin Town when Borough were again missing two first-choice defenders.
Rob Flooks had suspected pneumonia in the week and on the morning of the game, Eastleigh loanee Harvey Read pulled out with a virus.
Borough went down to a 2-1 defeat but Pike felt his team did enough to deserve something from the game.
The Borough boss hopes to have Flooks back in contention but is still waiting on Read for Tuesday’s match.
On top of this Harry Medway is another doubt after picking up a dead-leg on Saturday.
The manager is also relieved to see striker Craig McAllister free from illness.
He said: ‘I take my hat off to Craig after the game at Hitchin.
‘When I was giving my team talk at half-time he was off being ill.
‘It shows the character of the man that he went back out there and played most of the rest of the game.
‘He also scored our goal earlier in the game. He says he is feeling a bit better. We need him out there because he is a massive leader for us.
‘It was annoying to lose at Hitchin because we had a chance late on to get something.
‘The performance, though, meant everything.
‘We stayed in the game and were competitive but we can’t keep conceding goals.’
Pike was close to signing the midfield player he needs but the deal fell through at the last minute.
‘I know where our weaknesses are and am trying to do something about it,’ added the Borough boss.
‘We won’t give up and will keep working to add a bit of strength to the squad where it is needed.’
Borough have to play on the 4G surface at Redditch. It is not something Pike believes his players will relish.
‘We just have to roll our sleeves up and get on with it,’ he said.
With closest relegation rivals AFC Dunstable losing 4-0 against Hereford the status quo was maintained at the bottom.
Borough are propping up the league three points adrift with three games in hand and know they need to start making up the ground.