Thompson urges patience... Saunders '˜relatively confident'

Gosport Borough continue their rebuilding process against National League South Bognor at Privett Park tonight (7.45pm).

AFC Portchester coach Ian Saunders
AFC Portchester coach Ian Saunders

Borough have lost their first three pre-season fixtures against teams from lower levels – the latest a 5-2 midweek defeat at Baffins Milton Rovers.

Assistant manager Danny Thompson accepts it is going to take time for the team to gel.

‘We are rebuilding a team for the fourth time in six months,’ he said.

‘Some good young players have been recruited but it is going to take time for them to adapt.

‘Some have come straight out of academy football and have to get used to playing in the men’s game.

‘It was a hugely-disappointing display at Baffins because we had enough chances to be out of sight in the opening 15 minutes.

‘Once their goals started to go in a few heads dropped.

‘We know the Southern League premier division is tough but hopefully we won’t be the worst team in it.

‘Some of our players are not yet ready for it but that is the situation we find ourselves in.

‘There must be other clubs in a similar situation to us financially and who can’t pay massive wages.

‘Our team building won’t happen overnight and we have to stick with it.

‘Bognor is another tough game for us and we are looking for an improved performance.

‘We still have lots of areas to work on and we are starting to whittle our squad down.

‘I am more concerned with our level of performance than with the result of the game.

‘Everything is geared towards getting the players to know their jobs within the formation we are playing.

‘We are still relishing the chance to test ourselves against a good National League South team.’

n AFC Portchester host an AFC Bournemouth Development squad at the Blanchard Wells Stadium tomorrow (1pm).

Royals coach Ian Saunders is pleased with the way pre-season has gone and the commitment shown by the players.

And he expects to have a few selections headaches before the season-opener.

‘The players have worked hard and are in good shape,’ said Saunders.

‘I am relatively confident we will be going into the season fit and competitive.

‘We have some tough decisions to make ahead of our first league game on Tuesday.’