Rocks boss Pearce: 'It's a big challenge for us'

Jack Pearce. Picture by Tim Hale

When you have lost five out of the last six games, the last thing you need is to face the most in-form team in your league.

But that’s what the Rocks have to face on Saturday when they host Hampton and Richmond at Nyewood Lane.

The visitors have not lost in their last 11 league games and have won their last four, beating Whitehawk, St Albans, Bath City and Chippenham Town.

Bognor boss Jack Pearce said: “They are the most in-form team in the league and are unbeaten in 11 so it’s a big challenge but we are looking forward to it because that’s what we should do.

“Hopefully the players will give our superb supporters something to shout about.”

On the flip side, Pearce’s side have lost five of their last six, the last being a 3-0 defeat to top-of-the-table Braintree Town on Saturday.

Pearce said: “You have to be realistic, they are top of the league and we are down the bottom. You would expect the team top of the league at home to normally beat the team in the bottom third of the league.

“The most disappointing thing from our point of view was going behind so early within 25 seconds, it’s the not the best way to start a game of football.”

But Pearce was pleased with how his side reacted.

He said: “To be fair to the players, their response from there was good and they played the better football of the two teams and we had a large amount of possession and territorial advantage in the first half.

“Unfortunately the most important thing is making sure that possession results in making shots at their goal and we didn’t do very well in that department and overall they deserved it, so no arguments there.”

And Pearce knows what his players have to focus on. He said: “I was pleased with the attitude of the players, I was pleased with their passing but we have got to work harder in the last third to turn possession into chances and we certainly have got to work harder in stopping the opposition from scoring goals. If you are conceding two goals on average each game that means you have got to be scoring three to win and that’s not going to happen. It’s a big challenge for us.”

The Rocks have been hit by two pieces of bad news with James Crane needing an operation on his shoulder and an FA charge over the use of flares by their fans at an away game. But in better news Sami El-Abd could be in the starting line-up on Saturday after being named as a substitute against Braintree.

Pearce said: “He’s experienced and will give us a bit of strength and hopefully a bit of luck which we need.”

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