Alex Pike insisted he cannot afford to be downbeat after his Gosport Borough side went down to a 3-2 defeat in the Boxing Day derby.
Borough twice led but were pegged back on each occasion before Nic Ciardini claimed all three points for Hawks in a pulsating battle.
Pike felt the Privett Park side deserved a draw in the contest between two evenly-matched sides.
But the Borough boss knows from experience that you don’t always get deserved results and was surprisingly upbeat, even though his side left empty-handed.
Pike said: ‘As a younger manager, I would go home and mope about for two or three days, even though you can’t affect the result. I can’t afford to do that any more.
‘I certainly won’t be too down about it.
‘Over the course of 90 minutes, I think we deserved to come away with something and we gave them a real game.
‘Ultimately, it was sloppy mistakes on our part that cost us.
‘It was annoying that we got to 2-1 up and we were playing the better football.
‘That’s when we should have capitalised.
‘But they got it back to 2-2 too quickly.
‘Then for the third goal, Poatey slipped, the goalkeeper slipped – everyone slipped.
‘But you can’t give Nic Ciardini that amount of space because he is one of the best finishers in the league.’
Pike also felt the clash underlined his side’s improvement, considering they went down to a 3-0 loss in the same fixture 12 months ago.
He said: ‘Havant are a strong outfit and I felt we competed with them all over the park and deserved something out of the game.
‘But this time last year, we were comprehensively beaten in this fixture.
‘I think it shows how far we have come in that time but Havant have improved as well.
‘I look at some of their players and I’m envious.
‘But I also take a lot of positives because we are still in the mix at this point in the season and I’m sure we will improve.’
Borough now travel to Concord Rangers tomorrow in a fixture that Pike is less than enthused about.
He said: ‘I’ve been moaning about it since the fixtures came out.
‘I think it’s totally wrong to play a game so close to the Boxing Day fixture.
‘Clubs don’t want it, players don’t want it and managers don’t want it.’
– STEVE WILSON