Mark McGhee looks for big improvement at Hampton and Richmond

Mark McGhee
Mark McGhee

Eastbourne Borough interim manager Mark McGhee insists his players must remain upbeat despite their painful 3-0 home loss to Wealdstone last Saturday.

It proved an eventful afternoon for McGhee’s first match in charge, since replacing the previous manager Jamie Howell who was sacked following a poor run of recent results.

Borough were reduced to nine men on Saturday after the dismissal of goalkeeper Sam Howes and an injury to substitute Lloyd Dawes.

Despite the result, McGhee spotted a few signs of encouragement that he hopes will stand his new team in good stead for tomorrow’s (Saturday, 3pm) trip to Hampton and Richmond, who are 16th in the National League South.

Borough are just ahead of tomorrow’s opponents in 15th position and McGhee, alongside his new management team of Charlie Oatway and Danny Bloor, will be determined to deliver a good performance and a positive result to ease any relegation concerns, with 10 games of the league campaign still remaining.

The former Brighton, Leicester and Reading manager went with a more compact 4-4-1-1 formation against Wealdstone and he could be tempted to use the same system for the important game at Hampton.

However, the main task facing the manager is boosting a fragile morale as Borough have not enjoyed a victory for eight matches – six of which they have lost. Their last win arrived on January 5 at Chippenham Town.

Borough played Hampton earlier in the season in October at Priory Lane and it ended in a hard fought 2-2 draw.

“We are not going to win every game this season,” said the 61-year-old Glaswegian. “But the important thing is not to let it demoralise us.

“We learn from it, and we work on it. We will work on the shape of the team, look at the injuries and see if we can strengthen the team and get a couple in.”

Influential skipper Sergio Torres continues his recovery from a long standing knee problem but the Hampton match may come too soon for Torres.

He tweeted, “Working hard trying to get fit as soon as possible. Saturday’s aren’t the same when not playing.”

Striker Dawes will be assessed following his injury against Wealdstone and Marvin Hamilton could also be doubtful.

McGhee is also hoping to strengthen his squad with loan additions before Saturday’s match.