CALLUM Brooks says Dorchester’s Dorset Senior Cup Tie marks the start of a ‘mini pre-season’ as his side looks to improve their league campaign.

The Magpies travel to Sherborne tonight (7:30pm) and will look to progress to the next round of the Dorset Senior Cup.

Manager Callum Brooks told Echosport: “Every game is important, I always say that. The league campaign has not been what we want it to be, so the cup provides a distraction from that.

“We are looking at this two-week break (from the league) as a mini pre-season. We need to get all our injured players back and get everyone to their peak level of fitness.

“This game can be part of that process. Hopefully we can dominate possession and make up for the game we are missing on Saturday.”

Dorchester go into this match as favourites, however Brooks was not underestimating their opponents.

“We have to be approaching it in the right way. We can use this to hopefully get some confidence into the players. We are taking it deadly seriously and I want to see a good reaction from the boys.

“No disrespect to Sherborne, but when you go to lower league opposition, they tend to raise their game. They are full of players who believe they should be playing at a higher level. We need to make sure we are mentally correct to win the game.”

The Magpies have not won in four matches and sit 20th in the league so Brooks was looking to this game to be the catalyst to improve their league form.

He added: “It is pretty clear that things need to get better and this can be the first step in the recovery that we are looking to make before we regroup for the league on the 16th.

“If any players aren’t thinking the same way as the group then they aren’t the right for us.”

Saturday’s loss at home to Harrow Borough was clouded by allegations of racist comments coming from the stands.

Speaking about moving forward from that, Brooks said: “I think (this game) will be good for all of us after Saturday.

“We have not had to sit and dwell after a disappointing defeat and all the other noise that has gone around the club.

“It is a good opportunity to get on the ball, dominate possession and impose ourselves.

Brooks went on to say that people carrying injuries will be given a rest and a chance to recover but he will still pick as strong a side as he can.