JASON Matthews believes his side are “massive underdogs” going into their Dorset derby with Poole Town at Tatnam in the FA Trophy tomorrow (3pm) but is looking for his squad to “rise to the occasion” (3pm).
The Terras take on a Dolphins’ outfit who have impressed since stepping up to National League South this term. They currently sit sixth in their respective league, a level above the Terras.
Matthews’ men currently occupy 16th in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division, having beaten Frome Town 2-1 at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Tuesday.
With the Terras’ chief admitting his side are “underachieving” in the league at present, he insists the tie will be a tough test with £4,000 in prize money at stake but is backing his troops to put in a positive performance.
Matthews told Echosport: “The lads should embrace the game.
“It’s a local derby, there are bragging rights at stake and Poole have had the upper hand on us in the last couple of seasons, which is frustrating.
“Make no bones about it, we are underachieving in the league but this gives us the chance to have a welcome relief from it.
“It’s been a topsy-turvy season so far and it’s there for all to see. The win against Frome was big on Tuesday and we need to kick on.”
Asked if he views his side as the underdogs for the clash, Matthews replied: “Massively. We are away from home and their pitch is a big advantage to them.
“We are massive underdogs but we will go there and I will say to the boys to play without fear.
“They are a well organised side and Tommy (Killick, Poole manager) has built that team up over a number of years. He has done well and they are holding their own in the Conference South, I am not overly surprised by that.
“It’s a game we want to look forward to and I am sure my boys will rise to the occasion.”
Weymouth’s Sam Jordan (knee) is definitely set to miss the game through injury, while Jake Wannell, who had a loan spell at Poole while he was part of the set-up at Exeter City, will miss out through suspension.
Stewart Yetton (hamstring) will also miss out, meaning Calvin Brooks is expected to captain the side. Loan striker Stuart Fleetwood is expected to feature for the first time in the Trophy this term.
Matthews added: “A win could be the catalyst to kick our season on. At the same time it’s not the be all and end all, people have made it quite clear that it’s the league they are interested in.”