Selection decisions to be made as Gosport Borough get set to begin Portsmouth Senior Cup quest with Paulsgrove tie

Shaun Gale is still weighing up what team to select as Gosport Borough prepare to get their Portsmouth Senior Cup campaign under way.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 1:50 pm
Josh Huggins is likely to feature against Paulsgrove. Picture: Tom Phillips

Southern League Premier South Boro welcome four divisions lower Hampshire Premier League Senior Division side Paulsgrove to Privett Park for a first round tie tomorrow night.

Gale had planned to hand several of the club's under-23s players a run-out against Paulsgrove, although a number of current injuries within the set up could prevent that.

The Boro boss says ideally he'd like to hand all those who he wants involved for the league meeting with Metropolitan Police on Saturday the evening off.

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Yet Gale revealed he may be forced to use some of those who will be part of the squad at the weekend in the cup tie against Paulsgrove because of the current under-23s absentee list.

He said: ‘I was going to go with a bit of a youngish and mixed team but I’m not sure.

‘I’ve got to assess it because we’ve got some injuries within that team (under-23s), so I’m not 100 per cent sure how I’m going to go.

‘There will be some senior players involved but I don’t really want anyone (involved) who will start on Saturday, but I might have no choice at the moment. It’s a little bit up in the air about what team I put out.

‘It’s an important game, we want to stay in the competition because I’ve got lads coming back, it gives them an opportunity to get competitive games without having to chuck them back into Southern League action when they’re not ready for it.

‘We want to win every game we play, but if I’m brutally honest I’ve got an eye on Saturday and Met Police at home which is a really, really tough game that’s unfortunately going to be our priority.’

Gale is looking to use the tie to hand minutes to Josh Huggins as he steps up his return from injury as well as striker Bradley Lethbridge and defender Harlain Mbayo.

With Boro operating with a sizeable first-team squad this season and Mike Carter, Matt Paterson and Harry Kavanagh all anticipated to make returns from injury in the weeks ahead, Gale sees progression in the Portsmouth Senior Cup as the perfect opportunity to offer competitive minutes to his fringe players.

But the Gosport boss insisted his men would be foolish to look beyond what he is anticipating to be a 'tough' tie against Paulsgrove.

Gale said: ‘We won’t take anything away from the cup game. We need to remain in the competition and I need to pick a team that will be competitive enough to beat a Paulsgrove team who will be really tough to play against. I played against them a few times when I was at Havant, I know quite a few of the lads, they’re good players and they’ll give us a tough game. We need to be up for that and make sure we’ve got the right mentality and the right people on the pitch.’