ALEX PIKE faces the task of lifting Gosport Borough ahead of their daunting test against league-leaders King’s Lynn Town on Tuesday at Privett Park (7.45pm).
Borough suffered a confidence-sapping 5-0 defeat at Banbury United and the manager is demanding a reaction.
Pike was angry with the players afterwards insisting their performance was nowhere near good enough.
He knows unless they show a big improvement his team face the prospect of another heavy defeat at the hands of the powerful Linnets.
Ominously their opponents fired five goals past Borough’s relegation rivals, Dunstable, in their last game.
Pike needs his players to get back to the spirit they showed in the 3-3 draw against Dorchester Town.
He said: ‘I am looking for us to go out and compete for 90 minutes.
‘We can’t afford to only play in patches.
‘The players need to make amends for the performance at Banbury.
‘It wasn’t good enough and unacceptable in my eyes.
‘Our game management was poor and we didn’t protect the ball enough.
‘We need better decision making.
‘There is a need to play more of the game in the opposition territory. It is hard to defend for 90 minutes.
‘The pressure is off everyone in this game because no-one expects us to get anything.
‘If we are to stay up though we need to start taking points off the teams in the top half of the league.
‘That is something that we have not done so far this season.’
Pike is bringing ex-Baffins Milton Rovers and AFC Portchester manager Louis Bell in to head up the coaching team.
Bell left Baffins last week and Pike believes his local knowledge and expertise will help.
On the field Pike is planning to make changes after the Banbury disappointment.
At Banbury he was only allowed to field one of his three Pompey Academy loanees, Matt Mayes.
Jordan Brooks and Jack Chandler also travelled but weren’t allowed to play.
The League have since clarified the situation with regard to the number of loanees the club can include at any one time.
Goalkeeper Patrick O’Flaherty is also on loan from AFC Bournemouth.
Pike has been informed that he can include two of his other loanees so Brooks or Chandler could be set to make their debuts.
‘After Saturday there has to be changes,’ said Pike.
‘We need a bit more energy in the side.’
Central defender Rob Flooks is a doubt after limping off with a knee problem on Saturday.
Pike is also waiting on the fitness of Jack Breed.