Knight: Havant can handle crunch time pressure

Darren Bamford comes in for Havant. Picture: Vernon Nash
Darren Bamford comes in for Havant. Picture: Vernon Nash
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Darren Bamford got Havant off to a flying start. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (181102-1)

Knight: Havant made big statement with top win

Elliott Bellman. Picture: Neil Marshall (171150-43)

Fantastic five for focused Havant

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WILL KNIGHT is backing Havant to handle the pressure of crunch time as they take on London one south leaders Medway at Hooks Lane (2.30pm).

There will be a big crowd cheering on the home side as they face powerful opponents who have proven to be a real force.

Head coach Knight insists the players are aware of how important both games are as they face first and then second in succession.

He said: ‘It isn’t quite win or bust but the next two games will define a lot.

‘If we can get the wins it will move us closer to our objective.

‘On the other hand if we don’t get the results we want it will make life that little bit more difficult for us.

‘This is a huge game for us against Medway. They are the team to beat in our league at the moment.

‘We know we are coming up against a team that is ruthlessly efficient.

‘Our test is to find a way to put them under pressure.

‘At the same time we will need to take our opportunities when they come along because I am expecting a game of few chances.

‘If our aspirations are to be promoted then we have to be able to beat the top teams.

‘There will be a lot of pressure on both teams and it will be a lot about who can keep their composure.

‘I believe the squad we have are capable of handling the pressure.’

Havant head into the Saturday’s big game with the confidence of being unbeaten since Christmas.

They have built up a good momentum and a key factor has been consistency in selection.

Though they have a lot of depth in the squad they have been able to consistently name the same players most weeks.

When changes have been made the players coming in have stepped up to the mark and they have quality in reserve.

Knight has the luxury of being able to name an unchanged pack of forwards.

While in the three-quarters centre Ben Brierley is unavailable but is replaced by the experienced Darren Bamford.

‘Losing some one like Ben for this game could have been a big issue,’ added Knight.

‘But having Darren coming in means we are replacing like with like as far as quality and experience are concerned.’

On the wing Jerome Rudder replaces Penioni Tagitumua.

Knight said: ‘We can draw a lot of confidence from our recent performances and the fact we are at home.

‘Our home record over the years has been excellent. There will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere.

‘Everyone will also be aware of just how important a game this is.’

Havant: Chambers, Carr, S Morris, Bamford, Rudder, J Knight, Benjamin, Morgan, Trail, E Bellman, Janes, Young, Goldring, Davis, Trehan. Replacements: Powell, Cruddas, Wilks