Harper can be key for Gosport at Hereford

ROWAN VINE wants to see a siege mentality from Gosport Borough as they face the daunting prospect of visiting Southern League premier division leaders Hereford on Saturday (3pm).

Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 3:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 3:40 pm
Gosport need to be at their very best to make it tough for Hereford

James Harper could be set to make his first start after his second-half substitute appearance against Redditch.

Vine believes the experience of the ex-Reading, Hull City and Doncaster Rovers player can prove invaluable in Borough’s fight to avoid relegation.

The joint caretaker boss said: ‘I played with and against James in my Football League career and you know exactly what you are going to get.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

‘He has loads of experience and will organise everyone around him.

‘When he went on for his first game we immediately scored two goals.’

Borough know what they will face after losing 4-0 at home against the title favourites only two weeks ago.

Vine is demanding a vastly improved performance, particularly in defence, from his side.

He added: ‘We all know this game is a big ask.

‘In our first game against them though we were competitive up to the 64-minute mark.

‘We battled hard and stayed in the game showing all the qualities we will need to escape our situation.

‘Though we lost at Bishop’s Stortford again I thought we showed our fighting qualities.

‘That made last week’s 5-2 home defeat against Redditch doubly disappointing.

‘In the first half those qualities weren’t there. Once you go four down then the game is gone.

‘Going forward we were okay and I felt we were in the ascendancy after pulling two goals back.

‘It remains to be seen if that was just a slight blip.

‘We know we have to tighten up a lot at the back.’

Harry Medway received a straight red card in the Redditch defeat which means he misses the next four games.

This is a huge blow to Borough because Medway, who is captain, has led from the front.

He has been one of the most consistent performers all season.

‘We have to give a 100 per cent and scrap for everything,’ added Vine.

‘Clubs are not taking their foot off the pedal against us because we are at the bottom.

‘They see it as a chance to boost their goal difference.

‘That is what we are battling against and we need to show lots of fighting spirit.

‘Players need to stand up and fight for the cause.’

Gosport have boosted the squad with the signings of Ryan Case and Luca Wrightman.

Defender Case has joined from Bath City, while Wrightman is a graduate of the Aldershot Town academy and can play either at right-back or as a winger.

Both players will go straight into the Gosport squad for Saturday’s match at Hereford.

Also in the squad will be attacking midfielder Sam Lanahan who has signed from Dorchester.