BOSS Ollie Cherrett is convinced Christchurch can cope with their fixture backlog and insists there are "no excuses" for his high-flying side.

Priory are locked in a congested battle to escape Sydenhams Wessex One and have games in hand on all their rivals, with three promotion spots up for grabs.

Currently fourth, they edged a 1-0 win against sixth-placed Romsey on Saturday thanks to a Jon Blake goal – in what was both clubs' third game of 2018 due to a raft of postponements.

Beaten once in 20 league games – at US Portsmouth in August – Christchurch will be looking to frank their credentials when they host bottom-placed Folland Sports at the MA Hart Stadium on Wednesday (7.45pm).

And having twice narrowly missed out on promotion since Cherrett took over in September 2015, the boss believes his sizeable squad has what it takes to cope during a hectic run-in.

Cherrett told the Daily Echo: "We've built a squad this season and there are no excuses. On Saturday, there were two players left out altogether.

"We have the luxury that we can keep players fresh. I've told the players they are not all going to play every game but what I can guarantee is that every one of them will play a massive part between now and the end of the season.

"The lads have bought into that and, hopefully, if we do get the odd injury and suspension, we have the players to deal with that.

"Everyone is playing football and then you get competition for places which for me is a big headache but a nice headache.

"Last season, everyone could name our starting team and three subs. Now, we have five subs every week."

Christchurch played just twice in the opening six weeks of the calendar year, with inclement weather playing an unwanted role in the Hurn Bridge outfit's campaign.

Cherrett said: "We are a confident group and believe in our ability but we've lost our rhythm and that takes a while to come back.

"Until Christmas, the lads were outstanding. We were in really good form and winning became a habit, the frustration being not playing regularly after that.

"The positive for us is that teams didn't take advantage and dropped points on a regular basis, which kept us very close with games in hand. But we have a lot of tough games to come.

"We're in a great position. First and foremost, our target is to get in the top three and anything above that would be the icing on the cake."

Cherrett added: "Our defensive record has been outstanding and that's about the team, not just the back four and the goalkeeper.

"We're hard to score against and that always gives us a chance of winning games."