Alex Pike believes Gosport Borough are ready to show they have recovered from their Hemel Hempstead humbling.
With injuries and suspensions playing a part, Borough were put to the sword in their last outing as they went down 6-2 on home turf a fortnight ago.
As long as it never happens again and we learn from it, we can move forwardAlex Pike
Without a National League South win since September 15, their recent indifferent form has seen them slide down to 12th in the table.
But after a blank weekend last Saturday, they now have an opportunity to get it out of their system with a home clash against struggling Weston-super-Mare (Privett Park, 3pm) as Pike welcomes back the suspended trio of Justin Bennett, Brett Poate and Rory Williams.
Pike said: ‘As long as it never happens again and we learn from that as a unit, we can move forward.
‘Hemel were big and cumbersome and we didn’t handle the physicality.
‘That was probably the thing that disappointed me most – we couldn’t handle the physical side of the game, which is unlike us.
‘I don’t think anyone threw the towel in. I just don’t think we were up to the task on the day.
‘We had four out suspended and four out injured.
‘I trusted the players that I put in but we had to put so many in and didn’t have the top goalscorer in the side.
‘We were missing our centre-back partnership of last season and lost the pace of Rory Williams and Dan Wooden. It just hit us all at once.
‘You don’t totally write it off and forget it. But I think it was a combination of factors.
‘I’d like to think we are over it and ready to go again.’
Pike revealed that he had not held back in the home dressing room with his views on his team’s performance.
He said: ‘They were left in no uncertain terms about how I felt.
‘The manager is the heartbeat of the team and if he hasn’t got pride and passion, why should the players have it?
‘A few of them certainly saw a different personality in me.
‘You have to be careful not to jump to conclusions after a game like that and you also need to be constructive.
‘It’s no good me just standing there screaming at them for half an hour.
‘If I was a player, I would be saying “I’ve listened to you shouting at me but now what are we going to make sure it doesn’t happen again?”
‘Hopefully, we have come up with the answers.’
Defender Adam Brice has been allowed to join Wimborne Town on loan, while Pike is keen to have midfielder Andy Robinson fit again.
Pike is also hopeful that Pompey loan midfielder Adam May will get more of an idea of life at Borough after a chastening debut.
Pike said: ‘Andy is back ow, which is a big bonus. He hasn’t kicked a ball since August and he was my best player in pre-season.
‘Adam was thrown in at the deep end and I felt sorry for him.
‘He didn’t see the best of Gosport Borough and we didn’t see the best of him. Hopefully, he will get a much better idea of what we’re about.’