PORTLAND United are bracing themselves to tackle the physical challenge posed by Baffins Milton Rovers tomorrow (3pm).

Kyle Critchell’s men are currently without a victory in three Velocity Wessex League Premier Division games, opening the door for the chasing pack in the race for the play-offs.

While Portland are fifth, both Cowes and Baffins could usurp them should they win their games in hand.

However, the Blues have a shaky record against Baffins, having drawn 1-1 earlier this season after suffering a 3-1 defeat under Critchell in 2022/23.

Speaking to Echosport, assistant boss Jamie Symes said: “We’ve played Baffins a couple of times since we’ve both been here.

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“They’re a really well structured team, quite physical, and we’re going to match that. We’ve got our heads turned towards that already.

“We’ve got an idea in our heads which way we want to go, we’ll match their physicality and hopefully give it a good go.”

Portland may be winless in three matches but Symes believes the Blues have given their all in tricky conditions against Hamble, Portchester and Christchurch.

He said: “Portchester were really physical and put pressure on you from the minute go. The lads dug deep and a fair result could’ve been a draw.

“Then (Christchurch) up against difficult circumstances again, the amount of effort and work rate the lads put in was brilliant.

“Let’s hope they can rest up until Saturday.”

Symes also addressed the Blues’ away record, which has so far yielded only 12 points from nine games.

“It’s always something that we’ve looked at, even from last season,” he admitted.

“We came here and I think there was only one (away) win in the whole of last season. We’ve picked up a few more away wins towards the end.

“This year we have done better, I feel like we’ve won away or dug deep and got good draws.

“Our goals against are third best in the league, so we take real credit for that.

“We’ll set up and be difficult to beat at the least. Who knows, we could get three points.”

Portland have doubts over strikers Aidan Shepherd and Greg Borthwick (both groin), while George Stuttle is available after his red card at Christchurch due to the seven days’ grace rule.