SKIPPER Jamie Whisken is backing Poole Town to battle through their tough opening to the National South campaign.

The influential centre-half believes Dolphins will learn a lot from their turbulent start to the season, in which they have won just three of their opening 16 league fixtures.

Whisken has enjoyed a vast amount of success since arriving at the Black Gold Stadium from AFC Totton in June 2013.

He skippered Poole to the Southern League Premier Division title in 2016 before helping the club to fifth spot during their first season in National South.

And while proud to reflect on that success, Whisken believes Poole’s difficult start to this season will make the club’s players “grow and improve”.

He told the Daily Echo: “We feel like our season almost hasn’t got going yet and that has been the word around the changing room for too long.

“This season has been tough but I’d like to think we can change things and turn it around. You have got to go through the bad times to enjoy the good times.

“You never want to go into the changing room after a game and see everyone’s heads down and we have had that too many times this season.”

He added: “There have been a lot of changes personnel-wise.

“Because of those changes we have tried to play quite a few formations and none of them have really clicked for us, to be honest.

“But having Marvin (Brooks) back, we would like to think we can go back to playing somehow or someway similar to how we were last year. We will know over the coming games how that goes.

“Once we get a win, or two wins, we feel like we can really kick on. A lot of it is confidence, it’s a massive thing in football.”

Poole are currently 18th in National South, just two points adrift of the bottom three.

Asked if he found it a strange situation to be in, Whisken replied: “Yes, because I haven’t really felt that since being at the club.

“We said at the start of the season when we were struggling a little bit that it is a different kind of battle for us and it’s a good experience to go through this – as long as we are not down there later on in the season.

“It can only make the players grow and improve.

“I think you need to go through these times to improve as a player.

“If you are always at the top of the league – when it comes to times when you need to fight, get your head down and work hard then you will struggle.”

Whisken is expected to be involved when Poole make the trip to 12th-placed Eastbourne Borough on Saturday (3pm).

“We went and got a point there last season and we would like the same, if not more this time,” he added.

Dolphins (from): Hutchings, Lindsay, Moore, Spetch, Whisken, Pettefer, Bedford, Neale, Devlin, Bentley, Brooks, Dickson, Rees, Gillespie, Balmer, Harfield.