PETERSFIELD TOWN’s players have been told to keep playing with the pride and passion they displayed in their opening game of the season at the weekend.
The Rams host Farnborough at Love Lane tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm).
The visitors are many people’s pick to win the Southern League division one central title.
Caretaker manager Andy Neal was pleased with the way his players performed despite their 4-1 defeat at Chalfont St Peter on Saturday.
Ryan Woodford’s goal proved only a consolation.
Neal is now urging his players to produce another battling performance.
‘There’s no doubt Farnborough are a very good side,’ he said.
‘Some of the names they have on their teamsheet stand out straight away and they have a lot of quality to call on.
‘I was so proud of my lads on Saturday.
‘They gave everything they had and on another day we would have got the first goal and possibly gone on to win the game.
‘We need another one of those battling performances against Farnborough, that is for certain.
‘If we can match their effort and work-rate, who knows what we may be able to achieve results wise.’
What looked a tough match got tougher still on the eve of the season with the news that the visitors had signed experienced striker Jamie Cureton.
The 40-year-old scored over 50 goals for both Bristol Rovers and Reading in a career which has also taken him to Queens Park Rangers, Swindon Town and Norwich City, among other clubs.
The Rams are still in a period of recovery and rebuilding work following the departure of former manager Ian Saunders just eight days before the start of the new campaign.
But they have taken heart from their performance on Saturday.
Neal added: ‘We showed on Saturday that we have more than enough to compete at this level – what we need to do now is put in the work which will develop our style of play and the tactics we want to use.
‘The departures just before the season started haven’t helped us and we have a lot of work to do but there is a good spirit among the players here at the moment and that can only get better as we improve.’
Petersfield are waiting to hear about the fitness of Matteo Corsaro – who was forced out of Saturday’s game with a nasty-looking head injury.
– GRAEME MOIR