Alex Pike has branded his old mate’s Dorchester team a ‘poor side’ ahead of their FA Trophy clash at Privett Park.
The outspoken Gosport Borough boss goes up against his former assistant Phil Simkin after the duo spent three years working together at Dorset club Hamworthy United from 2003-06.
But with Dorchester struggling with financial problems and bottom of Skrill South, second-from-bottom Borough see a chance of progression in the Trophy and a valuable cash injection.
Pike, however, insists his side cannot afford to be dragged down again after playing out a 1-1 draw earlier this season.
He said: ‘When we played them earlier in the season, I thought they were a poor side.
‘On the day, we ended up being just as poor.
‘There’s no doubt in my mind we will have to play really poorly for them to get a result.
‘I’ve got a lot of respect for Phil, we worked three years together and it’s a difficult job he’s got there.
‘We’re still friends – or we were before this game!
‘But there is no room for sentiment.
‘Phil has got a few problems at Dorchester and he has decided to make those public.
‘A lot of clubs want to keep those things in house.
‘He has said they keep cutting the budget and they’ve got no money. Maybe that’s an excuse or maybe it’s a double bluff? I don’t know.
‘All I can do is judge Dorchester on what they have got on the field and they are not a very good side.
‘Knowing Phil, he will set his side up to defend and hit us on the break.’
Pike has his eyes on the £4,000 prize for progression with skipper Jamie Brown back in contention after he was banned for the midweek 2-0 defeat to Eastleigh.
‘It’s a £4,000 winner takes-all game and both chairmen will want their managers to win that for them. It’s a good opportunity for us,’ said Pike.
‘If we play like we did against Eastleigh, there’s no reason why we can’t win it.’