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Injury-hit Rocks vow to battle on as league leaders lie in wait

BOGNOR’S injury crisis continues – with six players set to miss tomorrow’s trip to Chelmsford City.


Limited finances means the Rocks squad has always been based more on quality rather than quantity.


But resources at Nyewood Lane are being stretched further than ever as more than a third of the 17-man team are on the treatment table.


With so many key people missing, it was perhaps no surprise that the Rocks lost their unbeaten record in National League South over the bank holiday weekend – first, a 2-0 defeat at East Thurrock and then a 1-0 reverse at home to Eastbourne Borough.


With a trip to league leaders Chelmsford City coming tomorrow (3pm), and then Hungerford Town visiting on Tuesday (7.45pm), there’s little time for manager Jack Pearce to find some sticking plaster to plug the gaps. Speaking to the Post, Pearce said: “Like any weekend if you play two games in close succession and get a return of zero points, then you’d be very disappointed.


“It proved one or two things, though, and only really  cemented what we already know – at the level we’re playing at, you can’t afford four or five players injured at the same time as we can’t afford to replace them like for like.


“In my book we never will have that as we cannot afford to have 17 top class players.We haven’t the finances to keep everyone happy.”


Five missed out on the trip to East Thurrock – Jimmy Muitt, Alex Parsons, Ollie Pearce, Corey Heath and Doug Tuck.


While Pearce returned for the bank holiday clash with Sussex rivals Eastbourne, it was not enough to prevent former Rocks manager Jamie Howell from leading his side to victory.


Even with the two defeats, Bognor are still sitting pretty in 10th after the first seven games of the season with a return of nine points.


But they will be up against it in the coming days – particularly with that injury list getting longer with Jimmy Wild also picking up a knock.


Rocks officials say they are trying to flesh out the squad in the coming days – but with finances limited, it’s far from a simple task.


Manager Pearce said: “Chelmsford would not be easy even with full squad, never mind with six or seven missing.


“It’s always easier to have nine points on the board when these things happen. But it’s what we have at the end of the season which counts.


“I never get too upbeat and too downbeat – you just have to get on with what’s handed to you. Everyone is aware of where we are. But we’re all getting paid for our jobs and it’s a chance for others to stake their case.


“We have to be very positive. We can’t go around moping, that’s the way the cards are played sometimes.”

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