Alex Pike praised Gosport Borough’s team spirit as they eye a fourth successive win at Maidstone United tomorrow but insisted: We don’t get the respect we deserve.
In-form Borough head into the National League South clash at the Gallagher Stadium in fourth place, one point and two places below their fellow promotion chasers.
Like I said to my players, I don’t think enough people rate or respect us as a team or a clubGosport Borough manager Alex Pike
That’s after they clinched their third straight victory in Tuesday night’s impressive 3-1 derby defeat of rivals Hawks – to complete a league double over Lee Bradbury’s side.
An historic win – their first ever at Westleigh Park – came on the back of a hard-working team display and was one the players revelled in afterwards on social media.
Pike paid tribute to his team’s on and off-field togetherness before voicing his opinion Borough are not given enough credit for the quality of their football, using the relegation-battling Hawks as a comparison.
He said: ‘I have made no secret of the fact we have got a great team spirit and togetherness.
‘It is my job to tap into that, focus it and use it in the right manner.
‘But team spirit will only take you so far – you still need organisation and player ability, although it is great to have that third ingredient.
‘People focus a lot on our team spirit, they call us the Crazy Gang and give us these titles – we don’t mind that.
‘But like I said to my players, I don’t think enough people rate or respect us as a team or a club.
‘By winning games and keeping us in the position we are in, it earns respect.
‘When you talk about the Havants, players names roll off the tongue but they are not necessarily performing.
‘Whereby my players, some I have a laugh and joke with that I have to take them to the Gosport Borough cryogenic chamber and recalibrate them when they come back from Havant.
‘I want them to play in our way – the key word that I have always used is enjoyment.
‘I want the players to enjoy coming to work and I know if they have got a smile on their face I will get the best out of them.’
Gosport head into tomorrow’s clash having named the same starting line-up for their last three games.
And with Pike unlikely to change a winning formula, confidence in the camp is high as the visitors look to leapfrog their opponents.
Borough’s boss, though, is expecting a difficult game for ‘101 reasons’.
‘For the first time this season, and many seasons, I have named an unchanged team for three games – that gives me a bit of continuity as well,’ said Pike.
‘And if you can’t go into a game full of confidence after winning your last three in a row then there has to be something wrong.
‘It’s up to me, though, to keep the players’ feet on the ground.
‘It’s a difficult game – they are in second place and it is on a 3G pitch.
‘I could name 101 reasons why it is going to be difficult for us!
‘But we just have to concentrate on the game and keeping our winning run going – then we will see where that takes us.’