Fareham on hunt for points ‘bonus’

Fareham performance director Ben Barnes
Fareham performance director Ben Barnes
Matt Cox opened the scoring for Havant in their defeat at Cheltenham.  Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant fall to defeat at Cheltenham

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Ben Barnes admitted any points Fareham can earn at National League conference west leaders Cardiff & Met will be a ‘complete bonus’.

The club’s performance director has just three games left to safeguard his team’s status in the division.

Fareham currently sit seventh but only two points separate the bottom five teams.

While they will certainly not be rolling over in Wales, the Henry Cort outfit have a mountain to climb if they are to grab a result at the title favourites on Sunday (1pm).

That gives added importance to the games against University of Birmingham and Isca.

And Barnes acknowledged his side’s performances in those game are likely to decide the team’s fate.

He said: ‘We have to be prepared to scrap and make it very difficult for Cardiff to break us down.

‘If we can get that part of it right and look to get anything out of this game then it is a complete bonus.

‘Everybody in the league will probably think this game is three points to Cardiff.

‘But that is certainly not what we will be doing.

‘We will go there and make it as hard as possible for them.

‘We are certainly not going there with a defeatist mentality.’

Barnes is confident his team have what it takes to survive – provided they stay focused and work as a team.

And he reckons the senior players will be crucial.

He said: ‘I know we have the ability to stay up but we need to know nobody is too good to go down.

‘If you think you are too good to go down then you can be rudely mistaken.

‘We have to make sure we stick together.

‘In these times you look towards your senior players, they are the ones with the experience and they need to show their character.’

Fareham have struggled to score in recent weeks – netting just two goals in their past three matches.

And Barnes has revealed they have been concentrating on their cutting edge in training.

‘We have done some work on our finishing in training,’ said Barnes.

‘Our composure in and around the circle has to improve.

‘We work hard to get the balls into these areas and too often we come away with nothing.

‘We have to stand up and be counted.’

Elsewhere, Fareham’s second team travel to third-place Trojans in South League Hampshire/Surrey regional division one tomorrow as the title race hots up (1.30pm).