BASINGSTOKE Town manager Jason Bristow has challenged his under-performing players to use the final six games of the season to prove that they want to remain at the club.
Town have won just one of their last nine games, a run that has seen them slip out of play-off contention. They have probably amassed enough points to ensure that they cannot be relegated from the Conference South, but Bristow insists that the pressure is not off.
“If you look at recent games, then you would say that the squad we have is not good enough,” he said. “The players have six games to show the club that they want to be here next season.
“We are probably safe, but the pressure is not off because we want to finish as high as we can. We are ticking the games off but we do not want to end the season with a bad run.
“We need to focus on getting as many points as possible. We have got to be better than we have been in the last couple of games.”
Despite a second disappointing season in a row, Bristow continues to have the backing of most Town supporters. It is likely that he will remain at the helm next season, but murmurings of discontent are beginning to surface, and Bristow admits that he is under pressure.
He said: “I put myself under pressure and at the end of the day, football is a results business and our results have not been good enough in recent weeks.”
Town’s next game is on Saturday (kick-off 3.07pm), when they host fellow mid-table outfit Bishop’s Stortford at the Camrose.
Bristow said: “They are another side who have been on a disappointing run of late.
“It’s an opportunity for both sides and we will see who wants it most.”
Then, on Tuesday, Bristow’s men travel to FA Trophy finalists Gosport Borough, a side who have won four and lost just one of their last six games to move away from the relegation zone.
Former Basingstoke star Sergio Torres will be at the Camrose between 5.45pm and 7pm tonight, signing copies of his autobiography.