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Non-league: Standard surprises Killick in Poole's promotion quest
In-form Dolphins travel to their New Forest neighbours tomorrow (3pm) buoyed by four wins from five Southern League Premier Division matches, a run which has seen Poole ship just one goal.
That sequence has propelled the promoted Tatnam outfit, who have suffered just one league defeat this season, back into the top five with up to three games in hand on some of their rivals.
But despite Dolphins’ campaign being on target, Killick revealed his surprise at the standard required to stay in touch with the play-off positions.
Discussing Poole’s promotion rivals, Killick told the Daily Echo: “The difficulty with this league is that you can make a case for nine or 10 teams making the play-offs.
“When we were at a lower level, without being complacent, I just knew we would be in the play-offs both years at the very least. I still feel quietly confident over our chances but the jump in quality has surprised me a little bit.
“There are a lot of good sides in the Premier Division and to finish in the play-off positions would perhaps be a bigger achievement than I first thought.”
Meanwhile, Killick called for Poole to up the ante in their first league meeting with struggling Bash since 1996 after waltzing to a Dorset Senior Cup victory over Wimborne in midweek.
The Dolphins manager added: “Whatever you say, whatever the players try to do, it is difficult, mentally, to maintain levels of intensity when you’re three goals to the good and dominating possession.
“It is important we’re ready for Bashley because I expect that game to have much more intensity about it. We have to make sure we don’t relax too much and go into it half-baked.
“On paper, we are expected to beat Bashley but there is no doubt in my mind that, physically, they will have a right go. That in itself can make life a lot more difficult for you.
“But we’re on a really good run and we have some games coming up where, if we apply ourselves, we can accumulate a good number of points before the Christmas period.”
Will Spetch should feature after his trial at Huddersfield, while Killick remains hopeful over fellow defender Jamie Whisken’s (hamstring) involvement.
Bash boss Paul Gazzard has unveiled new signing Manny Soetan ahead of the clash, the front-runner switching from Blackfield & Langley, but Declan Edwards (knee) and Justin Keeler (calf) face late fitness tests.
Dolphins: (from) Thomas, Clarke, Martin, Spetch, Dibba, Whisken, Pettefer, Davies, Devlin, Brooks, Preston, Cann, Charles, Elliott, Richardson, Byerley, Lowes.
Bash: (from) Jones, Roberts, Flint, Strickland, Marden, Morris, Colson, Bullpit, Satterley, Joyce, Odam, Blackmore, Soetan, Brookes, Edwards, Gazzard, Stubbs, Keeler.
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