Bognor Regis Town manager Jamie Howell is focusing on ensuring that his side secure a place in the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs.

The Rocks have fallen short in their bid for the title, with leaders Hampton and Richmond Borough currently twelve points ahead of Howell’s side.

And although Town do hold three games in hand on the leaders, Howell is solely focusing on making it into the play-offs.

“I think the title has gone.

“It looks impossible and although we always strive to do the best we can, we are just missing too many players at the moment. We don’t know game to game what team we will have because we have to wait and see how players react to the strains after every game.

“The play-offs are the target and we are in a good position. Once we get in there, get players back fit, we can have a good go at them and hopefully get promotion”

It has been a memorable season for the club, as they embarked on a remarkable FA Trophy run.

That was ended with a brave semi final defeat to Vanarama National League promotion challengers Grimsby Town.

The Rocks reaction to their exit was initially positive, as they won four games inside a week.brtfc

And Howell admitted that the emotion of the Trophy run had carried them through the following seven days.

“Obviously I think the Trophy run was brilliant and we were riding on a wave of emotion throughout the run to be honest.

“You never want to go out of a cup competition at any point and especially not in the semi finals.

“But we stood up well, particularly up at Grimsby Town and we can be proud of that.

“Since then we have taken the positive run and won four games in a row”

However, since that run of games the Rocks have had a dip in form, losing three games inside six days.

Howell revealed that his side were struggling with “alot of little niggles” but is adamant that they can recover.

“I think it is going to be difficult, we have picked up a lot of little niggles.

“We don’t have a big squad, we have a group of players that are working hard and making them understand the passing style of football we play.

“When you bring players in they aren’t up to speed with what we do, it takes time for them to settle and I think that has effected us because when we make changes, it can disrupt us and we maybe don’t look like a Bognor Regis team

However we will recover and we will go again”

The Rocks are now left with six games to secure their play-off position but their manager is refusing to set targets for his players.

“We are taking each game as it comes because I think it can get difficult if you start looking at setting targets. We take each game on its merits and don’t get roped into putting pressure on the players.

“It is a dangerous way to go, we have had a bad week, it wasn’t great but we are staying positive and once players get back to fitness I think the confidence will come back and the results will come”

Interview: Mark Carruthers
Images: Bognor Regis Town FC

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