BRENDON King believes his Portland United side “can beat anyone” ahead of a daunting trip to Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division pacesetters Sholing tomorrow (3pm).

Portland have warmed up for the clash with two successive defeats against Horndean and Shaftesbury and currently sit in third, 16 points adrift of the unbeaten Boatmen.

But King holds a strong belief in his side’s quality and vowed to lift his troops after Tuesday’s loss to Shaftesbury.

He told Echosport: “It’s not ideal but it is what it is. We’ve got to pick ourselves up, the boys are bitterly disappointed – that’s good to see.

“It’s our job to pick them up and prepare for (Sholing). We know on our day we can beat anyone so it’s obviously going to be a difficult game.

“They’re top of the league by a country mile and top for a reason. We’re third and the last two games isn’t an ideal way to go into it. It’s a big game, it’s probably our biggest of the season.”

Sholing were 3-1 victors over Sporting Khalsa in the FA Vase last 16 and were rewarded with a quarter-final tie at Cheshire side Northwich Victoria – more than a seven-hour round trip.

King is therefore hoping the Boatmen have one eye on that tie such is their superiority in the league.

He said: “Hopefully they’ll have an eye on the Vase and they’re just thinking about that and not the league game. But they’re a good side and it’s going to be very, very difficult but we’ll go there and try and win the game.”

Ryan McKechnie serves the second of a three-game ban, while Alex Halloran could continue to deputise in defence.