McRoberts: Gosport focus is on the job at Hove

Sam Foster. Picture: Roger Smith
Sam Foster. Picture: Roger Smith
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Gosport & Fareham head into the final league game of the season at Hove with a job still to be done.

The Blue & Golds must pick up at least a point to guarantee their London one south status for another year.

If they fail, then other results can still see them relegated – though Gosport start the day in the strongest position.

Head coach Neil McRoberts is backing his team to do what is needed to stay up.

He said: ‘We have to put the situation out of our mind and focus on what we have to do.

‘The nice thing is that it very much remains in our own hands.

‘It is up to us to go to Hove and make sure we concentrate and get the job done.

‘We are putting out a strong side with competent players who are far better than being involved in a relegation situation.

‘But there have been a lot of strange results lately so we have to be careful.’

McRoberts will need a far better performance from his team than he got in the defeat at Charlton Park.

In that game Gosport lacked the hunger required to get near the winning line.

They cannot afford to repeat that at Hove who beat them at Gosport on the opening day of the season.

McRoberts is boosted by the return of a number of key players, particularly in the three-quarters.

The influential figure of Sam Foster returns at outside half and powerful centre Wayne Dugan is back after injury.

In the forwards, Ed Pascoe and Ben Madigan are not available but Tom Blackburn returns.

And Tim Snowden moves into the back-row.

‘We have most of our Navy players available and that makes a big difference,’ said McRoberts.

‘In the forwards we should have enough fire-power to build a platform that will allow us to play.

‘We need to take charge early and get points on the board to make sure that any anxiety doesn’t slip in.

‘It is up to us to start well, impose ourselves on the game and settle the issue early.

‘We don’t want to be even considering the idea of being relegated.’