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Blues manager Gardner says Bostik North encounter with Boro is a ‘no-win situation’

PUBLISHED: 14:10 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:10 10 January 2019

Darelle Russell beats Basildon keeper Emmanuel Olajide (pic Terry Gilbert)

Darelle Russell beats Basildon keeper Emmanuel Olajide (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner has dubbed their clash with Romford as a no-win situation this weekend.

Kemo Darboe celebrates Barking's opener against Basildon (pic Terry Gilbert)Kemo Darboe celebrates Barking's opener against Basildon (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues will travel away to Boro’s temporary home of Rookery Hill on Saturday as they look to build on their 5-1 win over Basildon United last weekend.

But the former Aveley boss expects it to be a real tough test as he always does against Paul Martin’s side.

“It’s not any kidology behind it for me; it’s my toughest game as a manager, and the toughest game for my management team,” the 38-year-old said.

“It’s the players as well as it’s a no-win situation. As I said last season and earlier this season, it’s probably the only club with less resources than us so we go into the game expected to win.

“It’s a no-win situation for us and it’s going to be one hell of a game.”

Gardner revealed he watched Boro seal a 1-0 win over Grays thanks to Ayo Olukoga, adding: “I went to watch them on New Year’s Day and Romford beat Grays 1-0 and that’s no mean feat.

“We know how hard we had to work to get three points off Grays four or five weeks ago.”

However, the former Billericay Town boss does expect his side to come out on top, if they match Romford’s work rate.

“It’s no disrespect to Romford, but if we can work harder than them, because they will work very hard, then I expect our quality to shine,” he said.

“If it doesn’t and we’re one per cent below that, then we’ll lose the game.”

New signing Tobi Joseph will most likely remain on the bench if included at all after coming on in the 49th minute to replace Darelle Russell in their win last weekend.

Gardner revealed the midfielder is not yet match-fit but he is hoping Joseph can rekindle his form of two seasons ago with Hornchurch.

“It’s going to take him a while, he probably came into the team a bit sooner than he might have thought, but I know what a potential player he could be if we get him match fit,” he added.

“He proved it two years ago for Hornchurch when I think he scored 20-odd goals for them from midfield. It will probably be a month before we see the best of him.”

Barking were due to face Dulwich Hamlet in the London Senior Cup last night (Tuesday).

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