McAllister has full faith in Gosport survival bid
CRAIG McALLISTER is focused on what he wants to achieve as player-coach at Gosport Borough this season.
He wants to keep Borough in the Southern League premier division and is convinced he can do it.
McAllister has been brought in by new chairman Iain McInnes to help manager Alex Pike lead a recovery at the club.
He accepts it is a massive challenge but it is one he is very much up for.
His first priority is to bring in some more experienced players to the club.
Borough are hoping to add two or three faces ahead of the trip to Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday.
The hosts haven’t been in good form and it’s a chance to get a positive result and start building some crucial momentum.
McAllister feels this game represents an opportunity to start turning Borough’s fortunes around.
He knows they can’t afford to keep losing matches or they will run out of time in their efforts to stay up.
‘All that matters is staying up,’ he said.
‘We are hoping to have some new players in the building.
‘Straight away we must be looking at winning games and start the run that we need to go on.
‘Bishop’s Stortford have not been having a good time lately like us.
‘Having said that we know it still won’t be easy at their place.
‘Having a few more experienced players in the side can make all the difference.
‘You can’t knock the effort, energy and heart the youngsters have put in.
‘This league, though, is a tough learning environment.
‘They are learning the hard way. In some ways for them playing in men’s football is the best way to do it.’
McAllister knows, however, that the squad as it stands isn’t good enough to save Borough from relegation.
This was illustrated fully in the last two games where Borough suffered heavy 5-0 defeats.
McAllister made his debut in the home defeat against Tiverton Town and provided Borough with a greater physical presence up front.
His ability to hold the ball up and act as a target man will improve Borough going forward.
The striker, however, will need greater support in that role and players who can get forward to create spaces around him.
‘If you look at the top sides in our league they are all big, strong and contain a number of ex-professional players,’ said McAllister.
‘We need to be able to deal with that.
‘Once we get the encouragement of a win it will change the whole feel of things.
‘There are still 20 games left to get ourselves out of the situation.
‘I am convinced we will do it.’
The 37-year-old views the Borough challenge as the next step for him as he moves towards the end of his playing career.
He is on the verge of completing his UEFA B coaching badge and then aims to take the next level.
The situation at Borough is seen very much as part of his own learning curve.