Pike: We relish the challenge

Ellis Martin has left Gosport on loan
Ellis Martin has left Gosport on loan
Matt Tubbs played well against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Injuries are big concern but defensive errors also worry Hawks

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Alex Pike believes his Gosport Borough side are better off battling in Skrill South than chalking up wins at a lower level, despite the harsh reality of their relegation struggle.

Some have argued that it has been one promotion too many for the Privett Park outfit as they continue to find the going tough just two steps below the Football League.

The 1-0 defeat at Farnborough on Friday night and Dorchester’s shock win at Sutton United saw Borough sink to the bottom of the division and they desperately need a win at home to Staines Town tonight (7.45pm).

Pike said: ‘I’ve been manager of this club for eight years.

‘I’ve got to be realistic and it’s not being defeatist but we have come from Wessex League football to this level.

‘But I would rather lose games in Skrill South than win games in the Wessex League – that is a fact.

‘Although I don’t want to lose too many of them.

‘As a player or a manager, you want to play at the highest level you possibly can. I’m no different.

‘Some people might want the easy option but that’s not me and none of my players see it like that either.

‘If they did, they wouldn’t be here.’

Borough could benefit as tonight’s opponents have a dreadful away record, having picked up just one point from their six away fixtures so far.

But it is small mercy for Pike’s men who are struggling for goals against the meaner Skrill South defenders.

Pike said: ‘When it’s instinctive, we seem to be okay but we don’t have that bit of confidence and composure in front of goal – and you need that at this level. That’s something we haven’t got at the moment.

‘But I’m not going to give up, the players aren’t going to give up but we have to acknowledge that it won’t turn unless we make some changes.’

Pike is also on the lookout for reinforcements after allowing Paul Hinshelwood to join Bognor and Ellis Martin to join Bashley on loan deals.

He remains hopeful of adding a defender, although he saw his planned move for Bristol City defender Mitch Brundle scuppered.

– STEVE WILSON