ROD BRANSGROVE insists he is not unduly concerned by Hampshire cricket's on-field performances in the first half of the campaign.

Following disappointing showings in the Championship and National League last season, hopes were high of a twin promotion attempt in 2003.

But while John Crawley's men are well placed to win promotion from Division Two of the one-day league, Hampshire have yet to win a Championship match in eight attempts - half their season's total.

Their next chance to break that embarrassing duck comes against Glamorgan at the Rose Bowl in a four-day match starting next Tuesday.

Rose Bowl plc chairman Bransgrove is refusing to put too much pressure on cricket manager Paul Terry at the halfway mark.

Hampshire wouldn't be the first county to put a poor first half of the season behind them to win promotion from Division Two of the County Championship.

Only last season Notts were in the bottom four in early July but a Stuart MacGill-inspired run took them to promotion.

"I said I wanted to wait until we'd played half our Championship matches because in the first half of the season there's a lot of vagaries like the weather," Bransgrove said.

"Sometimes it's not until around the halfway mark that a team starts to perform like they can.

"I accept we've had some disappointing results, no doubt about it. We have been in some good positions which we have been unable to capitalise on.

"The management and the players are aware of this, and have been taking action to try and make progress. Our position at the moment isn't a cause for too much concern.

"Of course you can say we have a better chance of success in the one-day league rather than the championship because we're third in that.

"Before the home game against Gloucestershire in the Championship I said it was a must-win game, but really all our home games are must-wins, plus we should look to do as well as we can away. You have to remember this is a transitional time for us, and some things will take longer to happen than others.

"Some of the players aren't playing to their full potential, but hopefully that will change.

"It's also nice to have all the University lads back - that makes the squad a lot stronger and broader."

Looking on the bright side, Bransgrove said: "It was very encouraging to see the way James Bruce bowled at Northants last week, even though we didn't get the right result.

"The 2nds are doing very well, but if you look down the age groups to the under-11s you will see we are developing and coaching more youngsters than ever before.

"I'm confident there are some exciting players coming through the system.

"In the 2nds we have the likes of Jimmy Adams and James Hamblin, plus Greg Lamb - they have performed outstandingly well and are all players of real potential.

"Off the field, the business is going well, but I know there's room for improvement on the field."

Hampshire produced one of their best results of the season last weekend when they defeated National League Division Two table-toppers Northants at Wantage Road.

The Hawks' next two games in the one-day league are both against Notts, starting with a Rose Bowl clash tomorrow, before welcoming Northants for their only home day-night National League clash of 2003 on July 30.

Following on from the way the south coast public welcomed the Twenty20 Cup opener against Sussex last month, Bransgrove said: "I'm hopeful that will be another sellout.

"Northants are top of the table and a very exciting batting side with the likes of Hussey and Jacques, and hopefully our wicket will present their bowlers with more of a challenge - I'm saying nothing more than that!"

Don't miss today's Pink for an exclusive interview with Hampshire legend Barry Richards, plus other Rose Bowl news and three pages of local league cricket.