THE pressure surrounding tomorrow’s massive six-pointer at Tonbridge Angels (3pm) should not be a problem for the Magpies, according to Phil Simkin.
The Dorchester Town boss reckons the rigours of this season have created a strong mentality in his ranks but he is under no illusions about the task facing his men this weekend.
Simkin told Echosport: “After beating the league leaders Bromley last weekend, we are expected to go to Tonbridge now and win but life does not work like that.
“We have got some pretty level-headed lads in our squad and they know that too.
“We have had a rough time, one of the toughest in football I have ever been involved in, but we have come through it and are all better for it, and that should stand us in good stead for situations like tomorrow.”
“Tonbridge are useful at home and they are certainly a lot stronger now than when we beat them earlier in the season,” he continued. “They have got Gary Elphick, who is a strong player at centre-half, and they are lively up front too.
“They are a big, strong side and their manager Tommy Warrilow, who is someone I know well, will have them well prepared.
“They are also used to being in relegation battles like this, whereas we are not, so it’s going to be tough.”
The Magpies currently sit second-bottom in Skrill South, four points and two places adrift of the Angels, who hold four games in hand.
When asked to comment on the significance of the fixture, Simkin said: “It’s important not to put too much pressure on people.
“It’s just about going up there and trying to get a result.
“If we carry on the performance that we produced against Bromley, we will stand every chance.”
The midweek postponement against Hayes & Yeading gave forward Warren Byerley a much-needed rest and Simkin is expecting to have a full squad to choose from for tomorrow’s showdown.
The delighted manager has also praised the commitment of Torquay United loanees Nathan Craig and Ashley Yeoman after both travelled up from Devon this week for training.
Simkin said: “I did not insist on them coming up but they both really wanted to and I think that speaks volumes.
“They are both top-notch and the same can be said about all the AFC Bournemouth lads too.
“We have been very lucky in that respect.”
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Jermyn, N Walker, S Walker, Lanahan, Smeeton, Case, Craig, Gleeson, Crittenden, Losasso, Makoni, Yeoman, Byerley, Munday, Twyford.
*Dorchester’s home clash against Hayes & Yeading has been rearranged for Tuesday, April 15 (7.45pm).
*The second-string Magpies had their game at Sholing postponed last night. The reserves have not played since November 26.