Boulevard to fight until the end
Ian Coke is adamant no one at Boulevard has given up the challenge of securing their Premier Division status, but conceded their league woes have become a psychological battle.
Boulevard remain rooted to the foot of the table after losing 6-0 at home to leaders Robin Hood on Monday, extending their winless run this season, which has seen them fail to pick up a single point from their ten games, scoring just one goal.
Despite alluding to the struggles within the Boulevard camp, Coke is resolute in his belief that every player is still giving it their all as they strive to keep their survival hopes alive.
“More than anything, it has become a psychological battle for a lot of the squad because when you think about Boulevard it’s no points, two goals all season and only one in the league,” said Coke, whose side remain 11 points adrift of safety with a game in hand over nearest relegation rivals Somerset Eagles and Somerset Trojans.
“Obviously, that’s hard for everyone in the squad to take and it does play on your mind. We are just looking to get that first point and build from there.
“We just need that first point on the board to kick-start things and then hopefully we can keep adding to it from there.
“No player in this squad has given up and we’re certainly not going into games not giving it all we’ve got. No one will give up, even though we all know it will be extremely difficult. It is still mathematically possible to survive and while that is the case, we have to keep going.
“Our pride is on the line and so, hopefully, we can go on and pick up some points as soon as possible and start trying to build some momentum.”
Reflecting on the latest defeat, Coke acknowledged his side had no answer for Hood’s superior quality.
“In all honesty, playing a team like Hood we were not expected to get anything,” he added. “We just tried to give them as tough a game as we could and perhaps nick something.
“However, we hardly tested them at all and barely had a shot on goal, but that’s because they were so good. They outplayed us, outmanoeuvred us, and so we have to go away and try and figure out a way of stopping teams playing.
“We were on Hood’s heels for large parts of the first half and didn’t make it easy for them but, unfortunately, we gave away a goal from a set-piece and then it was a case of trying to stop them as best we could. However, once they got going with confidence they’re hard to stop and kudos to them for the performance.”
Boulevard now turn their attentions to an arguably more favourable match against Southampton Rangers on Saturday, but Coke is well aware of the threat they pose as the newly crowned Friendship Trophy champions, as well as beating Somerset Eagles in their last league outing.
“We have another tough game against Southampton Rangers, who will be coming off a high from two good victories, including winning the Friendship Trophy title,” Coke said.
“They’re in some good form and will be high in confidence so we have to be ready to match their intensity at the least and do what we can to kick start our season.”
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