WEYMOUTH caretaker-boss Gary Borthwick is refusing to give up hope of making the Conference South playoffs.

The former midfielder, who is in charge of the Terras until the end of the season along with fellow coaches Roy O’Brien and John Waldock, reckons his side can still do it although he admits it will be ‘tough’.

Preparing for the visit of Newport County to the Wessex Stadium tomorrow (3pm), he said: “You’ve got to believe it until it becomes an impossibility: It’s going to be tough to make the play-offs now but not impossible.

“I said last week that if we can get 70 points in the bag then we’ve got a really good chance of being there. Seventy points is still a possibility and we’ll be going all out to get them.”

A victory over the Exiles tomorrow is obviously vital and Borthwick admits he’s got a job on his hands to lift his players following Steve Johnson’s sacking on Tuesday:

“Everyone at the club was upset by what happened and everyone has obviously been affected by it,” he admitted.

“But the players are professionals at this club these days and they just have to get on with life and worry about themselves.

“I know that must sound a bit harsh, but that’s the way life is.

Losing Steve Johnson was a blow to everyone who worked with him but it’s done now and all that’s important now is getting three points against Newport.”

With Yeovil loan signings Nicolas Mirza and Kezi Ibe having returned to Huish Park this week, Borthwick adds the names of Shaun Wilkinson and Kirk Jackson to the squad that lost 1-0 at Havant last week.

Wilkinson was left out because he had just returned to Weymouth following a loan stint with the Hawks while Jackson was sidelined through suspension.

“It’s good to have both of them available again and it strengthens our hand,” said Borthwick.

“At this moment in time I’m not sure about the starting line-up but everyone in the squad is in the running for a place.

“On top of that, Adam Wilde has starting training again after his groin injury and is making slow but steady progress and Martin Barlow is getting fitter and stronger and is getting closer to a comeback.”

Despite being handed the caretaker duties by the Terras board of directors, Borthwick today refused to say whether he’d be applying for the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

He explained: “I really haven’t had time to think about it. Everything has happened so quickly and all that’s concentrated my mind this week is getting the lads’ prepared for Saturday’s game; ”

“Myself, Roy and John have been asked to do a job and I understand that will probably be until the end of the season.

Our plan is to do that job as well as we can and see what happens after that.”

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