Pike: Borough must start fulfilling potential

Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike. Picture: Keith Woodland
Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike. Picture: Keith Woodland
Rowan Vine. Picture: Keith Woodland

Vine disappointed not to get Gosport manager role

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Alex Pike insists Gosport Borough must start fulfilling their potential as they host Stratford Town in the Southern League premier division at Privett Park tomorrow (3pm).

Borough’s winless streak in the league was stretched to 13 games with a midweek defeat at Redditch United.

Pike is desperate to pick up his first win since being reinstalled as manager in December.

He insists progress is being made in terms of improved performances.

However, matching the displays with results has proved far more elusive.

Gosport are rooted to the bottom of the division.

They are three points adrift of nearest-rivals Dunstable Town but have two games in hand.

Pike knows time is running out for his team to avoid the sole relegation spot.

The Borough boss believes the next few weeks will prove decisive in Borough’s survival.

He said: ‘We have to go to Dunstable early next month for what looks like being a relegation decider.

‘Our target has to be picking up enough points to get ahead of them before then.

‘We don’t want to be going there behind them with the pressure of having to win the game.

‘The only way we can make that happen is by improving our results.

‘There have been lots of positives to take from our last few performances.

‘Now we have to turn that potential into wins.

‘Until we step up and defend as a team, however, it won’t happen.’

Borough have conceded 109 goals in the league this season.

There seems to be little improvement in their rearguard – but Pike doesn’t lay all the blame on his defenders.

He is desperately trying to bring in a midfield player who can offer them a lot more protection.

It is going forward where Gosport have made the biggest step up.

The arrival of Ryan Pennery to play alongside the experienced Craig McAllister has been fruitful.

The former Moneyfields marksman netted at Redditch.

However, Pike was frustrated his team didn’t play to Pennery’s strengths in the second half.

The boss added: ‘At Redditch, Pennery was unplayable at times.

‘Then in the second half he didn’t get the service he required.

‘Suddenly, against our instructions, the team started to go long and that isn’t the way we play.

‘Players have to follow instructions and at the back we have to make sure we concentrate. There has to be more accountability.’

Harry Medway was forced off with a dead leg at Redditch but should be fit for the Stratford clash.

Fellow defender Harvey Read also returns from sickness.

Meanwhile, Louis Bell has been named as Pike’s assistant manager following the departure of Craig Bennett.

Bell was initially drafted in as a coach a fortnight ago after leaving Baffins Milton Rovers.

Gosport Borough: O’Flaherty, Sanders, Medway, Read, Smith, Flooks, Warren, Jackson, Brooks, McAllister, Pennery, Suraci, Watts, Breed, Dennett, Bombalenga, Lea