Coach Ben Sullivan is feeling optimistic as Bournemouth Poppies prepare to host Gosport Borough in the Hampshire Senior Cup tomorrow evening.
The second-round tie sees higher-league opposition in The Boro’ travel to the south coast to take on a resurgent Poppies side, with the Winton-based outfit only suffering defeat once this season.
When asked about the clash, Sullivan was bullish about his side’s chances:
“We’ll be approaching this game like any other, which is to go out and win. We’re currently on a good run of form and long may that continue.
“Looking at their past results, they’re also on a good run of form and obviously are two divisions above us. They’re a very strong side.
“We’re eagerly awaiting this fixture, we want to see how we can compare ourselves with some tough opposition.”
Poppies’ goalkeeping coach also spoke of the club’s busy summer, with a flurry of new signings being introduced alongside some seasoned Victoria Park veterans.
“The bonds that have been created in the team are fantastic,” Sullivan explained.
“From day one since I came in, we’ve had a high turnover of players from last season but the squad, both old and new, have bonded so well.
“That goes for management staff as well. We’ve all bought into the philosophy that we’re one team and together we’re stronger.”
Ben Sullivan – Poppies’
The club’s last encounter with higher-league opposition ended in last-gasp heartbreak for Poppies, as Winchester City hammered home a late rebound to edge to a one-nil victory.
Sullivan claimed that it was vital to send supporters home happy this time around against The Boro:
“It would be a great night under the lights for our supporters to go home happy after seeing us put on a decent performance. Most importantly though, I think it’s recognition in the media to see where we currently are right now, that we’re enjoying our football but we’re serious about competing.”
Manager Michael Cuffie’s side are in the midst of a resurgent run of form at home, and Sullivan stressed the importance of making Victoria Park ‘a fortress’:
“Our home form has been strong this season. We want it to become a place where teams find it difficult to come and play. If we are to seriously compete, you’ve got to win your home games and whatever you pick up away from home is a bonus.”
Gosport travel to Bournemouth tomorrow off the back of two successive victories and clean sheets, with Craig McAllister’s outfit sitting in eighth in the Evo-Stik Premier Division South.
Kick off at Victoria Park is 7:45pm.
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