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Pearce refuses to panic as Rocks’ face fight for survival

BOGNOR boss Jack Pearce maintains his side are not yet in panic mode despite sitting in the relegation zone with half the season gone.


It has been a baptism of fire for the Rocks on their return to National League South.


After starting the season well, a poor run of form has left the Rocks towards the wrong end of the table as the midway point of the season nears.


Recent weeks have brought better performances and decent results.


But a four-game unbeaten run was ended last weekend when fellow bottom-six side Concord Rangers left Nyewood Lane with a 2-1 victory.


Tomorrow is a trip to mid-table Bath City (3pm), a side who the Rocks defeated on opening day 3-2 in front of a home crowd.


Speaking to the Post, Pearce said: “We’re still not in panic mode but last Saturday, given their close proximity in the league, it was a very poor result.


“But the performance was encouraging and if you think of the number of 20 and 21-year-olds we have in the team, the club has a very bright future if we can keep them in the league this season.”


The Rocks perhaps should have improved on their current league position of second bottom last weekend when they dominated play. But after falling behind to two first half strikes, a Keaton


Wood headed goal 15 minutes from time was all they could muster in a losing effort.


Pearce said: “It was the sort of game where, if we played it ten times, then with the same performance we would have comfortably won it six or seven times, drawn a couple and then lose just once.


“If our precarious position in the league wasn’t so crucial, there were lots of positive to take out of it.


“None of their goals came for their great play but our self-inflicted unexplainable mistakes. We had a couple of errors and judgements from players who have been playing well.”


Bognor will head west tomorrow morning, with the squad in relaxed mood ahead of the long coach journey.


But Pearce says he cannot promise they will make the journey back with all three points.


He said: “I’m never confident in this league (about securing a win).


“What I am confident about is the players will try their best to earn three points and, if we play to our best, we are very capable of getting three points.”


The Rocks make the trip to the west country missing a number of key players.


Skipper Sami El-Abd is suspended while James Crane is a long-term absentee.


Kristian Campbell is doubtful and striker Ibrahim Sekajja picked up an injury and will need to be assessed.

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