CAPTAIN Jamie Whisken says Poole Town’s team of winners will be a “dangerous” force as the National South promotion fight heats up.
Dolphins are hoping a 'pay what you want' initiative will attract a bumper crowd for the visit of Concord Rangers to their newly-renovated Black Gold Stadium tomorrow (3pm).
A victory for Poole would ensure they go into Tuesday’s crunch clash with fellow play-off chasers Hungerford holding a minimum five-point advantage over the Berkshire team.
For a club that was only promoted last season and which has been embroiled in a race against time to get its ground up to scratch, their position in the top five represents a minor miracle.
But Whisken says manager Tom Killick would expect nothing less.
He told the Daily Echo: “Tom has instilled a winning mentality. We do not want to be playing for nothing.
“Our first aim at the start of the season was to stay up but the boys are used to challenging at the top of the league, or fighting to get into play-offs.
“It is a team of winners and we want success again this season. If we can get that play-off spot it will be an enormous achievement for the club.
“And we have absolutely nothing to lose. There is nothing expected of us, I do not think we are even expected to reach the play-offs – and that makes us dangerous.”
After making amends for an early-season defeat to Oxford City by eking out a precious 1-0 victory over the same opponents last week, Dolphins are on another revenge mission this weekend.
They suffered late heartbreak to go down 3-2 at Concord back in November and, accordingly, Whisken insists there is no chance of anybody’s minds prematurely turning towards Hungerford.
“We have taken things game by game all season and not got ahead of ourselves at all,” said the centre-back.
“All we are focused on is Concord, we want three points against them and nothing else. We will not think about Hungerford at all until after this match."
Killick lavished praise on Whisken following the win at Oxford, calling him a “consistent, proper player" and "a leader of men”.
Whisken took up the baton to highlight the contribution to Dolphins’ terrific campaign of three of his team-mates – midfield pair Steve Devlin and Carl Pettefer, and his usual defensive partner Will Spetch, who performed manfully against Oxford after being handed an unfamiliar striking brief.
“I love playing with Petts and Devs. They are both such honest, hard-working and combative central midfielders,” added Whisken.
“They are brilliant at what they do and it is great to have them in our side.
“And Will did so well for the team last week. It was tough for him up there and it is a role he is not used to.
“I do not think we could have asked much more of him. He worked his socks off, like he always does, so well done to him.”