Gosport Borough have been told to toughen up before they are cut adrift at the bottom end of the Skrill South table.
Borough have picked up just a single point in five away games since promotion to their new surroundings and face another testing trip to Ebbsfleet United tomorrow (3pm).
Their cause hasn’t been helped by a horrendous catalogue of injuries with five players still ruled out.
Luke King, Lee Molyneaux, Dan Woodward, Adam Wylde and Mike Gosney are all still ruled out by injury.
However, Pike is hoping adversity will bring the best out of his squad in the next few weeks.
‘We are nine games in and now know what this league is all about,’ said Pike.
‘There are no excuses – we have to start to perform in what is an important time.
‘We don’t want to find ourselves cut adrift in the bottom three.
‘I know it’s an old cliche but it’s true – there are no easy games.
‘Ebbsfleet will be tough but we will need to go there, dig in and be difficult to beat.
‘Most importantly, we won’t be able to afford any defensive errors.’
Pike recognised the need to strengthen his squad to aid any improvements and moved this week to bring in experienced striker Tim Sills.
Sills will provide Borough with a greater physical threat up front – something which they have lacked all season.
The 34 year old has scored a lot of goals and will also give Borough an increased physical presence defending set-pieces in their own area.
The manager also hinted he will be adding other new faces in the coming weeks – with Bashley defender Ian Richardson linked.
With King requiring surgery on his knee and likely to be out for the rest of the season, Pike may move sooner rather than later to plug that gap.
Despite his problems, Pike insists his team can get a positive result at Ebbsfleet.
‘Anyone can beat anyone in our league,’ said Pike.
‘I plan for us to go out and win every game whoever the opposition is.
‘It has been two weeks since our last league game and that has helped us get a few players through their knocks.
‘Losing the Sutton United game to the weather in midweek was frustrating, but hopefully we won’t be too rusty.’
Pike may bring goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore back in after the youngster kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 Hampshire Senior Cup win over local rivals Fareham Town.
Gareth Barfoot, who has played the past couple of league games, has done little wrong but Borough may opt for the greater physical presence of Ashmore.