Alex Pike expects any disgruntled Gosport Borough players to show their professionalism as they recover from the disappointment of missing Wembley.
Adam Wilde and Ryan Scott were unused substitutes, while Sammy Igoe and Tom Dunford were among those who failed to even make the matchday squad as Pike selected his 16-man party.
Despite rumours of unrest behind the scenes, Pike dismissed the suggestion that he has to rebuild relationships ahead of tonight’s Skrill South trip to Tonbridge Angels.
Pike said: ‘I can understand both Adam and Sammy being very disappointed. But they have both had injuries.
‘I don’t think I have any bridges to build. I picked a team based on fairness and logic to try to win the game.
‘Some players might have though they should play when they haven’t played much over the past few weeks because of injury.
‘They are contracted to the club and the club has honoured that all season. I expect them to honour that contract until the end of the season despite their disappointment.
‘There has to be some professionalism.
‘I don’t see why I need to contact them directly. My door is always open and my phone is always on if they want to speak to me.
‘I would be very disappointed if there was any backlash.
‘We are all in this together – including the 11 that started and the subs that came on.’
Pike revealed it was among the most difficult decisions of his managerial career in leaving players out.
He said: ‘Any manager will tell you how hard it is but you cannot shirk it.
‘You tell 11 players that they are starting and they are mates for life.
‘You then have five substitutes who are disappointed that they are not starting but have the safety net.
‘Then you have got the four players who didn’t make the squad.
‘It’s at Wembley and their families were there.
‘All of a sudden they were sat in the crowd and it’s not easy for them. I know that.’
Pike added: ‘We cannot afford for there to be any kind of hangover against Tonbridge Angels.
‘Playing at Wembley against a side as good as Cambridge, I felt we measured up for 38 minutes.
‘Now we need to take that on into the league season.’
– STEVE WILSON