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Pearce calls on talented trio to start taking their chances

It’s been a running theme in recent years, which has left Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake wondering if Groundhog Day has struck again.

 

But if Rocks are to mount a serious run at promotion back into National South then they have to be more clinical in front of goal.

 

In Dan Smith, Jimmy Muitt and Stuart Green, Bognor have three players who netted more than 60 goals in all competitions last season.

 

But, with four pre-season games under their belts, the attacking trio have yet to find their groove, with the team averaging one goal a game in the matches so far.

 

If promotion from a competitive division is to be achieved then Pearce and coach Robbie Blake – who is no stranger to finding the back of the net – will want to see their frontmen clicking in time for the opening league match at Bishop’s Stortford next weekend.

 

Speaking after the Chichester win, Pearce said: “If I’m being honest, the ball is not sticking up front enough. Jimmy is a great player and so is Dan Smith and Stuey [Green] has scored goals wherever he has gone but at the moment it is just not gelling.”

 

The Bognor boss, who is nearing his 50th anniversary of being involved with the Rocks, is also keen to see his more senior players be more vocal on the pitch.

 

In the Sussex Community Shield game, long-serving players such as James Crane and skipper Harvey Whyte were seen to be giving a number of younger players a talking to after mistakes were made.

 

Pearce said: “We are encouraging players to get after each other as we want to win something.

 

“We want to have high standards and want senior players to get to grips with players on the pitch. It’s no good waiting for half time to come and letting the manager do that for them. We want to see things starting there and then and will hopefully start to see a bit of that going.”

 

And as for new signings before the season gets underway?

 

All the talk is around forward Bradley Lethbridge returning to the club on loan from League One Portsmouth although nothing formal has been agreed just yet.

 

At the back, Pearce is also monitoring the goalkeeping situation. Former Havant stopper Charlie Searle and on loan Pompey player Petar Durin have been sharing the duties as last season’s number one, Dan Lincoln, is on cricket duty with Middlesex.

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