Borough must deal with fear factor

  • Gosport host Chelmsford in play-off chase
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Alex Pike believes Gosport Borough must overcome the fear factor to maintain their push for the play-offs.

Borough went down to a shock 1-0 defeat at Eastbourne last time out and host 10th-placed Chelmsford tomorrow as they attempt to cement their place in the top five of Vanarama Conference South.

Where we are, it can put a bit of fear factor into players

Alex Pike

The Privett Park boss admitted his side had been unable to break down some stubborn resistance last week, after conceding an early goal.

But he believes they may have to face a similar approach from other clubs between now and the end of the campaign.

Pike said: ‘We are finding teams are going to play in a certain way against us more frequently and we found it very difficult to break them (Eastbourne) down.

‘We conceded an early goal and it meant they had something to hang on to.

‘But we’ve been working on a few things so that if teams do play that way against us, we can find a way of breaking them down.

‘It’s a new problem for us to deal with when we go away from home and the opposition are setting up with one striker.

‘You don’t come across that very often.

‘Some of these clubs have nothing to play for other than players playing for contracts.

‘So they can play with a bit more freedom and an element of no fear.

‘Where we are, it can put a bit of fear factor into players. We’ve got more to lose than they have.’

Borough missed influential midfielder Danny Smith last weekend as he served a suspension.

He will, however, return to the line-up for the clash with the Essex outfit.

‘Danny is back from suspension and we did miss him last week,’ said Pike.

‘We missed his organisational ability and experience but he will be back in.

‘It’s a very important position. He drags people to the right places at the right time.’

While Pike is focused on steering his side into the promotion play-offs, he has also continued his preparations for next season and beyond.

Skipper Sam Pearce has signed a new three-year deal with a one-year option, while striker Justin Bennett and midfielder Dan Wooden are both close to agreeing fresh contracts.

‘They are integral parts of the side and have done exceptionally well for us this season,’ added Pike.

‘They deserve to be rewarded for what they have done and it gives us that spine of the team going forward.’

Pike, meanwhile, admits he is scouring the market for potential loan additions to give his side some extra momentum for the run-in.

He said: ‘I’m extremely happy with what I’ve got but I think we might need someone to come in and pep us up.

‘I’ve got a few targets and we are in negotiations with a couple of clubs.

‘It won’t happen before this game but hopefully we might have someone in for next week.

Borough also now know they will play Sholing in the Hampshire Senior Cup final at Fratton Park on May 5 after the Southampton-based side beat AFC Bournemouth’s development side 1-0.

Pike added: ‘It will be Pompey v Saints, so it should be a good occasion.’

GOSPORT BOROUGH: (from) Ashmore, Forbes, Pearce, Poate, Williams, Dunford, Smith, Wooden, Carter, Robinson, Ramsey, Paterson, Bennett, Wort, Saez, Wilde