Borough and Hawks aim to stay on track

Tom Dunford, left. Picture: Allan Hutchings (133613-533)
Tom Dunford, left. Picture: Allan Hutchings (133613-533)
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Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Alex Pike has shot down the theory that Gosport Borough are just seven points from Skrill South safety.

The Privett Park boss leads his side into the latest of a frantic run of fixtures as they host Weston-super-Mare tonight (7.45pm).

But after they claimed a gutsy 1-0 win over Farnborough on Tuesday, Borough climbed to within seven points of the universally-accepted safety mark of 45 points with 10 games left to play this season.

Pike, however, refuses to believe what his fellow managers have told him as he plots a path to survival.

He said: ‘Every other manager in this league will tell you that 45 points is safe.

‘If that’s the case then we need another seven points.

‘But I’ve never been a manager who looks at those overall points targets like that. I break it down into five-game segments.

‘They are all crucial games to us but we achieved the target of 10 points out of 15 ahead of Wembley and then I wanted another 10 out of the next 15 – so far, we’ve got nine out of 12.

‘So we need to build on that against Weston-super-Mare.

‘The thing you have to consider is that you get unexpected results at this time of the season.

‘Clubs who are safe and can’t make the play-offs experiment with different players and you get odd results against teams that are fighting for their lives.’

Pike went with an unchanged side for the wins over Bishop’s Stortford and Farnborough but will shuffle the pack to cope with the schedule.

Tom Dunford, Jamie Brown, Mike Gosney and Adam Wilde are all expected to come into the side.

Pike said: ‘I will need to juggle the squad.

‘I picked an unchanged team for the Farnborough game. I figured if it wasn’t broken, then I wouldn’t fix it.

‘You often play on a Saturday and a Tuesday during the season but it’s the Thursday game that becomes the difficult one.

‘You have to think about shuffling the pack and resting players.’

But Pike believes his men are benefiting from a boost in confidence and they look a completely different side to the one that struggled for much of the first half of the campaign.

Pike said: ‘We’re in great form and we are taking confidence from that.

‘People thought we might have a hangover from Wembley but it has galvanised us.

‘I’m seeing even more of that spirit in the way they are fighting for each other.

‘We look a much stronger team now and that’s what confidence does.

‘We’ve got a good blend and we’re certainly enjoying it a lot more than we were at the start of the season.’

Meanwhile, Hawks boss Lee Bradbury is eyeing a sharper cutting edge in tonight’s trip to play-off chasing rivals Sutton United (7.45pm).

The former Pompey striker expects his team to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat at Staines on Tuesday, when they looked a little jaded up front.

‘I thought we were okay box-to-box but lacked a goal threat,’ he said.

‘That’s two games without a goal and something we need to address.’

Bradbury hopes the return of Nic Ciardini and Scott Donnelly will help solve the problem.

The pair have already contributed 13 goals to the Hawks this term.