Bridgeman knows he’s got battle on his hands

Kieron McRoberts is in line to return to the Gosport & Fareham ranks for the game against Chobham
Kieron McRoberts is in line to return to the Gosport & Fareham ranks for the game against Chobham
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Barry Bridgeman accepts Gosport & Fareham have a huge battle on their hands if they are to stay in London one south.

Although only seven games into a 26-game season, the writing already appears on the door.

After seven straight defeats and without a single point on the board, Gosport & Fareham are already odds-on favourites for relegation.

There is still time to turn things around, but Bridgeman knows his team need to start winning soon.

He believes they have a chance to do that against Chobham at Gosport Park tomorrow (3pm).

‘We need to start picking up points and we need to do it now,’ said Bridgeman.

‘Chobham are in the lower half of the league and the fact that we are at home should improve our chances.

‘It is still up to us to make it happen and we will have to improve a lot on our last performance.

‘We will need to play at our best and maintain it over 80 minutes.

‘In our last game we had three excellent scoring opportunities and butchered all three.

‘We cannot afford to keep doing that.

‘In this league you get punished for your mistakes.

‘If we get chances against Chobham it is vital that we put them away.’

Bridgeman is boosted by the news that two key players should return to the starting line-up.

The re-appearance of his first-choice centre pairing, Wes Dugan and Kieron McRoberts, is a huge encouragement to the side.

It also means that the coach is able to move his wingers back to their more accustomed positions.

This should strengthen the back-line both in defence and attack mode.

It will give the home side an increased physicality which is something they have lacked this season.

Dugan, along with his brother, scrum-half Wayne Dugan, have been talismanic figures at the club for years.

When they are both in the team Gosport are a different proposition.

Bridgeman needs a vastly-improved display after describing the 40-0 defeat at Cobham the worst of the season.

‘Our first-up tackling was lacking,’ added Bridgeman.

‘Also, our vision and perception of where our opponents were and what they were going to do was poor.

‘Our decision-making was also not good enough.

‘In terms of a collective team effort, I felt we went backwards.

‘Even our line-out, which has been a strength this season, didn’t function.’

The home side are still without two key players in the forwards.

Tim Snowden is unavailable and Ben Roberts is still ruled out by his Royal Navy under-23 duties.

Bridgeman is hoping that his side will be spurred on by the vociferous home crowd.

A first win will give the Blue & Golds a massive psychological boost and increase their belief that they can stay up come the end of the season.