DORCHESTER Town manager Steve Thompson feels the Magpies “can beat anyone” ahead of their Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division encounter with seventh-placed Hitchin Town at the Avenue Stadium tomorrow (3pm).
Thompson’s men have lost their last three games in all competitions but the Magpies’ boss is confident in his players’ ability after they created numerous chances during their losses to Royston Town and Stratford Town.
He told Echosport: “I think we’re at a stage now where we can beat anyone and can be beaten by anyone. I’d like to think that’s better than where we were two and a half months ago when we were getting beaten by everyone.
“We still have vulnerabilities as you can see, and we still make mistakes, as most teams do. We could have beaten Royston and we could have beaten Stratford, but it’s the small margins.
“With Kettering, we probably took four out of six or seven chances, whereas in the last two games we’ve taken one out of nine and therein, sometimes, lies the difference.
“If you make mistakes like we’ve made, whether it be decision making or whatever then you’re going to get punished and we have been punished.”
A key factor in Thompson’s tenure so far has been Dorchester’s inability to keep a clean sheet, but despite having gone 17 games without a clean sheet, he is not concerned.
He said: “I’m not particularly (concerned). I think we’re geared up as an attacking team. The lack of clean sheets doesn’t particularly worry me, but the performances worry me.
“Merthyr slightly, although full credit to Merthyr for what they did. But as I said to (the players) after the Wimborne game ‘there was a football match going on out there, you should have joined in.’
“But I can’t accuse them of that in the last two games. They’ve given everything and created plenty of chances. Unfortunately the mistakes have been very, very costly.”
With the Magpies winless in four games, Thompson feels it is important for his squad to remain “bright and bubbly”.
He said: “We’ve got to keep bright and bubbly because what I’m trying to do is right. We’re trying to play a high-tempo, high-energy game.
“The (Avenue) pitch also is in a situation at the moment where it’s very hard to play a passing game.
“It’s important that I don’t drag the players down. They’ve played quite well (against Stratford), they haven’t played brilliantly, but they’ve played quite well.
“They’ve got no reason apart from losing the game to be too downbeat.”
Dorchester will be without captain Gary Bowles, who begins a three-match suspension for violent conduct, while Luke Winsper and Ollie Griggs remain unfit.
One positive for Thompson was the returns of Sam Lanahan and Phil Ormrod from hamstring injuries against Stratford on Monday.
He said: “They lasted quite a long time. Lanahan lasted 65 minutes and Ormrod 80, so that’s a pleasing aspect from the game.”