PETE STILES believes he can keep Fareham Town in the Wessex League premier division.
The Reds moved quickly to appoint Stiles as boss at Cams Alders after sacking Steve Stone last weekend.
Stiles and his assistant Rudi Hall are set for an immediate test with a trip to Amesbury Town in the league this evening.
With the Reds propping up the league table they know they face a tough job to try and avoid relegation.
‘We both know that it is a bit of a task, with lots of hard work needing to be done,’ said Stiles.
‘The club are not in a very good position and there are only 18 games left.
‘If we didn’t think we had a chance of keeping them up then we wouldn’t have taken the job.
‘The priority is to stop losing because they haven’t won for something like 14 games.
‘As soon as a goal goes in against them heads tend to go down
‘We have to try to change the mindset of the players here and also try to get a couple of new faces in.
‘It is a question of attempting to restore the players’ belief that they can go into games expecting to get something out of them.
‘All too often they have dropped points in games they should have won.
‘We have to become a lot harder to beat.
‘Fareham are not bottom for nothing.
‘Basically the club have given me the brief of keeping them in the Wessex premier.
‘Then in the summer we can all have a look at it and see where to go.
‘Rudi and I see it as a long-term project in trying to rebuild the club.’
Stiles has been a stalwart at neighbours AFC Portchester for the last 16 years in one capacity or another.
The chance to manage at Wessex premier level, however, was too good an opportunity to turn down and he decided to grab it with both hands.
In season 2014-2015 he led the Royals Reserve team to the Wyvern Combination title.
His assistant Hall has a good non-league pedigree, holding the record number of appearances for Enfield Town.
Stiles sees it very much as a partnership and values Hall’s experience alongside him at Cams Alders.
The pair have had little time to get their feet under the table and have spent the past 24 hours phoning players ahead of their first game in charge as they aim to get things moving fast.
‘I know some of the players and have been ringing around to see who I can get,’ said Stiles.
‘My philosophy is to give the players a chance to show what they are capable of.
‘The side might not be as strong as we would like but we are not going to Amesbury to get beat.
‘We are looking to pick up points.’