BOSS Tom Killick admitted Poole’s Dorset Senior Cup exit had dented confidence and morale – but insisted they still had a “big opportunity” to save their season.

Dolphins were dumped out for the second year running by Wimborne, their local rivals winning through to the final following a penalty shootout on Tuesday.

It compounded a miserable spell for Poole which has seen them slip back into the National South relegation zone following three league defeats on the trot.

Currently four points adrift of safety but with one game in hand, Dolphins on Saturday face a stern test when they travel to leaders Dartford (3pm).

Killick, speaking to the Daily Echo ahead of the trip to Princes Park, said: “Going out of the Dorset Senior Cup makes no difference to our season because the absolute be-all and end-all is trying to survive in National South. Other than confidence and morale, nothing has changed.

“If we could survive in National South, it would be amazing for the club, the players and everyone involved. If we had won the Dorset Senior Cup and been relegated, it would not have given us one per cent of satisfaction.

“It was all about trying to have a good performance and get some confidence to take into the Dartford game. The only good thing is we are no worse off in our quest for survival, other than damage to confidence.

“I was surprised Wimborne were quite as vociferous in their celebrations. I thought it was the semi-final, not the final. But I don’t want to take anything away from their achievement because they beat a team from two leagues higher and they deserved to.

“After the game, I suggested to the players that they had a meeting on their own because I don’t really know how many more times I can say the same things differently.

“I am also aware I am the person who is picking the team every week and I signed every player.

“I am the one telling them how they are meant to be playing to win games and what I am telling them is not working so there has to be a big element that they start to lose a bit of confidence in me and that is something I have to take on the chin.

“But we still have a big opportunity to save our National South status. It looks very much like Hereford will be promoted and Torquay could be relegated.

“Suddenly, this league which we all fought so long for to get into could get even more attractive. That is the thing we have to concentrate on now.”

New loan signing James Constable is expected to return to lead the line having been ineligible for the Dorset Senior Cup.

Goalkeeper Nick Hutchings, who sat out the Wimborne showdown, is set to come in for deputy Tom Rees.