US Portsmouth boss Turnbull: I didn’t consider us the FA Vase underdogs against Bournemouth Poppies
Writing in his programme notes, Turnbull said US were the ‘underdogs’ going into the first round tie given Poppies’ higher division Wessex Premier status.
But in the dressing room beforehand he told his players a very different story.
‘I said to the team ‘in all but status, we’re a Wessex Premier side - we should be playing in the league above, now go and prove it!’
‘Privately, I thought it was a game we should win.
‘We should have been one or two up before they scored, and we had so many shots - you wouldn’t have thought we’d been practising shooting at training!’
Though Poppies took an early lead against the run of play, US hit back to lead at half-time through goals from Dec Seiden and Andrew Todd.
On a night where US created numerous chances, top scorer James Franklyn struck his 13th of the season just before the hour mark to clinch a home second round tie with Brockenhurst or Street.
‘I don’t think any team from step 5 would enjoy coming to our ground, especially given our recent run,’ said Turnbull.
‘We would be looked upon as a banana skin tie.’
US have now beaten seven Wessex Premier League sides in friendly and cup action since early August.
They headed into lockdown with four successive wins to their name, and easily beat Poppies despite the absence of captain Tom Jeffes who had been ill.
Tom Cain was moved across to the middle of a three-man central defensive unit with teenager Sonny Harnett-Balkwill brought in on the left-side of the three.
‘Sonny’s got a bright future,’ said Turnbull, ‘I was really pleased for him.’
The manager is also hoping Tyler Moret’s recent arrival from Baffins Milton will spur Todd onto more impressive performances.
‘Tyler’s a quality signing and he’s given everyone a lift. Perhaps last season Sweeney (Todd) thought he only had to turn up to be in the team, but now he’s got a bit of a target to aim for.’
Turnbull is hoping US could return to action before Christmas.
‘I’ve heard there could be a two-week period to regain match fitness before league games start on December 19,’ he said.
Moneyfields and Chichester have already been in contact regarding possible friendlies on the month-long lockdown ends at the beginning of December.