Portland United seek repeat display at Linnets

Friday 09th February 2018

PORTLAND United interim boss Gary Bailey is looking for a repeat performance of Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Shaftesbury as he leads the Blues at Lymington Town in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division tomorrow (3pm).

An 87th-minute Ryan McKechnie free-kick earned Bailey’s men a point at Shaftesbury after Nick Hewlett’s miscued shot had looked like handing the Rockies all three points.

But Bailey spoke of his pleasure at the “response” from his players to the new ideas he had tried to impress on them in the early stages of his tenure.

He told Echosport: “If the players give the same performance that’s all we can ask from them.

“We challenge them to make sure they work on things right and provided we get that from them we’re going to be going in the right direction.”

He added: “It’s nice to get your first game under your belt – we’ve got a place to start from now.

“We’ve got something to work off and we’re delighted with the response from the players. They’ve set some standards that we need to maintain.

“It’s about the players and I’ve been very pleased with the response we’ve had since we’ve come in.”

On the task of facing the Linnets, Bailey expects the eighth-placed team to be a “big, physical side”.

He said: “It’s a tough place to go. They’ve got big ambitions this year. They’ve got a few games in hand on what’s around them.

“They’re a big, physical side and in our previous visits there it’s always been a tough encounter.”

The Blues have no fresh injury concerns after their midweek exertions at Shaftesbury and will be boosted by the return of Sean Zima, but Ross Doidge is still unavailable.

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