DORCHESTER Town start 2013 in the Blue Square Bet South relegation zone – but skipper Nathan Walker is “100 per cent confident” the team won’t be there at the end of the season.
The Magpies currently occupy 20th place in the table with only Basingstoke Town and today’s opponents Truro City below them.
However, their lowly position could soon be remedied given that only three points separate them and Maidenhead United in ninth – they also have games in hand on everyone else in the division.
Walker, who is expected to revert to his favoured position at centre-back with Arran Pugh and Charlie Clough both suspended, would prefer to have points on the board but sees no reason why Dorchester can’t better last season’s 11th place finish.
“I saw the table on Sunday and it looks like we’re struggling but we’ve got a lot of games in hand,” he told Echosport. “A couple of wins will put us right back into the top half.
“It’s the tightest this league has been for years and I would say it’s going to take about 48 points to stay up this year rather than 42.
“If we can beat Truro it will take us up towards Hayes & Yeading, who we play next Saturday, and if we win that we’ll be away from the drop zone.
“I’d rather have the points than games in hand but if we can keep performing at home like we have been I’m 100 per cent confident we will turn things around.”
He continued: “Hopefully we’ll do better than last season. I don’t want to think about the play-offs yet, we just need to win as many games as we can.
“If we can push hard from now on I wouldn’t write off getting into the play-offs.”
It’s possible Magpies’ boss Phil Simkin will start today’s match at the Avenue with Walker and club captain Mark Jermyn at the heart of his defence.
Walker has been playing at right- back of late but is looking forward to moving across to the position he feels most comfortable in.
“I prefer centre-half so I’m trying to win my place back,” added Walker. “Me and Mark Jermyn played together at the back for the first time against Truro last year so there could be a bit of déjà vu.
“I want to stay there for the rest of the season but Charlie and Arran have been doing well so while they’re suspended I need to take my chance.
“It’s a massive game because we really need to get back to winning ways.
“It wasn’t nice to have to go to Truro on Boxing Day and have the game called off as late as it was.
“That messed up our Christmas so there’s an extra reason to beat them.
“It’s important we don’t start sluggishly because they’ve got some good players in their side like Barry Hayles.”
Meanwhile, Truro boss Lee Hodges has refuted claims made by Phil Simkin that his club put pressure on referee Mark Pottage to play the postponed encounter at Treyew Road on Boxing Day.
“There was never any pressure of any kind put on the ref,” read a statement on Truro’s unofficial fans’ website.
* Dorchester Reserves are away to Moneyfields in the Wyvern Combination League Premier Division tomorrow night (7.45pm).
Magpies: (from) Matthews, Jermyn, Walker, Martin, Gleeson, Nicholls, Colson, Logan, Watson, Smeeton, Crittenden, Symes, Molson, Way, Brooks, Bell