Time for football to do the talking as Baffins Milton Rovers bid to put Horndean defeat 'right' at Shaftesbury

Baffins Milton Rovers manager Shaun Wilkinson wants his players' to do their talking on the pitch as they quickly look to brush off a first Wessex League Premier Division defeat of the season.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:28 pm
Baffins boss Shaun Wilkinson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 180821-32)

Wilkinson says the mood around the squad has been downbeat this week following last weekend's home league defeat to rivals Horndean.

But third-placed Baffins now have the perfect chance of a quick pick-me-up as they prepare for a Wessex Premier trip to Shaftesbury this weekend.

Wilkinson has told how those within his squad are desperate to show their opening league defeat was just a minor 'blip'.

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Yet rather than talk a good game, the Baffins boss is eager for individuals to display just how good they can be on the field again.

Wilkinson said: ‘We left a few out on Saturday and those who got left out are chomping at the bit to show me why they shouldn’t have been left out.

‘The lads who didn’t perform are desperate to show me that was just a blip and they’re looking to keep their place.

‘I’m hoping for a good reaction, as I said to the lads, don’t just talk it, show me - obviously Saturday we’re looking to see that.

‘Everyone was disappointed after Saturday (defeat to Horndean). We had a good training session on Tuesday and some of the lads played in the game as well (Portsmouth Senior Cup at Horndean).

‘Everyone was so down, that performance (against Horndean) just wasn’t us, we didn’t turn up and the lads are desperate to put that right.

‘We were never going to go through the season unbeaten, but when you do get a lose, you need to have a reaction.’

Baffins were also beaten on penalties in midweek at Horndean in the Portsmouth Senior Cup, although Wilkinson handed opportunities to a number of under-18 and fringe players.

While Rovers were losing on the road at Fives Head Park in a shoot-out, Shaftesbury racked up a massive 9-0 league win over manager Ollie Cherrett's former club Christchurch.

And Wilkinson is wary of just how tough of a test Baffins will face as they look to bounce back from defeat in the league last time out.

He said: ‘It’s going to be a tough trip. Obviously it’s the ex-Christchurch management and a lot of the players from last year are there so it just shows you how good of a side they are.

‘The results have been a little bit hit and miss (for them) where they’re obviously getting used to new surroundings, new pitch and new management but they’re definitely going to be one of the top teams in the division.

‘A lot of people fancied them this year, they’re a big powerful out and they won 9-0 in the week, so we know it’s going to be a tough game.’

Leading scorer Tommy Scutt is expected to be out for 'two or three weeks' after injuring ankle ligaments against Horndean and will definitely miss the Shaftesbury trip.

Striker Jason Parish remains sidelined and is still a few weeks away from recovering from his hamstring injury.