ALEX PIKE believes he’s facing one of the biggest challenges of his managerial career.
But the Gosport Borough boss is adamant his side shouldn’t be written off after their losing start to the season.
Borough have made a poor opening to their Southern League Premier Division campaign, as they prepare to face Royston at Privett Park tomorrow.
The two opening defeats were not unexpected in the manager’s eyes, though, and he is adamant things will improve.
After losing 2-0 at King’s Lynn on the opening day Borough suffered a 5-1 home mauling at the hands of Slough Town in midweek
Following last season’s relegation from National League South, Pike was forced to totally rebuild his squad during the summer.
With the club strapped for cash he has had to bring in more inexperienced players.
Pike accepts that it is going to take time to mould them into a Southern League outfit.
He has no doubt about his ability to do so, but knows it will prove a testing challenge.
Pike said: ‘I knew the first three games were going to be hard. King’s Lynn have spent a lot of money, Slough were up the top last season and Royston have just come up.
‘I always felt that if we got anything from the opening games it would be a bonus.
‘We have shown some flashes of good football but the second half of the season was always going to be the strongest for us.
‘I am not going to give up on people after just two games.
‘We have good players at the club and will keep giving them a bit of love as they learn to cope at this level.
‘It has been a baptism of fire for some of them but our challenge is to keep them believing.
‘Things are completely different at the club from last season and we have a nice little set up.
‘But it is certainly one of the biggest challenges of my managerial career at this level.’
Pike spent much of his time this week travelling the area looking at opponents. On Monday he watched Dorchester and Basingstoke and later in the week took in the Farnborough and Royston game.
Pike came away believing that once his side settle down they will be able to compete with those teams.
At the moment though it is a case of his players gaining experience as quickly as they can.
‘Our main problem has been dealing with the physicality of opponents,’ said Pike.
‘Four of Slough’s goals came from set-pieces where we allowed them to bully us. Teams are not opening us up to score their goals.
‘The players are capable of doing it they just have to learn.
‘There is a good vibe at the club and I am excited by the future prospects.
‘In the past what Borough have lacked in quality they made up for with team spirit. That takes time to develop and not something you can get after a few weeks.’