BOSS Tom Killick has urged Poole to improve their league form now they have "no more distractions" from cup competitions following Tuesday night's loss at Weymouth.

Dolphins won the Dorset Senior Cup last season, but a heavily rotated side were knocked out at the quarter-final stage this time around, going down 2-0 at the Terras.

However, Killick was not overly disappointed about exiting the competition as Poole prepare to face Southern League South promotion challengers Chesham United on Saturday (3pm).

He told the Daily Echo: “For me, the Dorset Senior Cup is perfect for giving time to players that perhaps haven’t had much game time, or to have a look at younger players from the reserves.

“Is it at the top of my priorities? After winning it last season, being dumped out of all the other, more meaningful, cups, and with lots of games to play catch up on, I’m not too disheartened to lose.

“Like the Southern League Cup, it may be disappointing for supporters to lose to local rivals, but in the context of the league campaign, they are fairly irrelevant.

“With our games coming thick and fast, it was always going to be an opportunity to rotate and rest the squad.”

After being dumped out of the FA Cup in October at the last hurdle before the first round proper, Dolphins’ stunning early league form has come to a slump, with inconsistent performances not helped by several postponements.

Sitting in second place, Poole’s next opponents Chesham have leapfrogged Dolphins and sit second, although Dolphins do have five games in hand.

“It is now imperative we focus all our efforts entirely on the league,” added Killick.

"Now that we have no more distractions in terms of cups, we have to ensure we return to strong performances in our league matches.

“Even without the postponements, we haven’t been at our best.

“Now we have to string together a few good results, even if the performances aren’t perfect.

“We haven’t really done either in recent weeks."

Jamie Whisken stills suffers from a hip injury sustained in the warm-up against Walton Casuals last month, meaning recent signing from rivals Wimborne, Billy Maybury, should take his spot in the line-up.

Mark Childs is likely to return in goal in place of Harry Phillips.

Victory for Poole would see them potentially rise to sixth place, but an immediate return to the play-off spots is not possible even with victory at the Meadow.