Alex Pike has told his Gosport Borough squad they will need all of their mental resolve to help achieve the club’s objectives this season.
The Borough boss had to leave out several of last season’s first-team regulars from his matchday squad for the club’s Vanarama National League South 0-0 draw with St Albans City at the weekend.
Dan Wooden, Steve Ramsey, and Adam Wilde were among those who failed to even make the bench, while substitutes Mike Carter, Nathan Walker and Perry Ryan didn’t get on for the opening day.
Pike now expects to use the same 16-man squad for tonight’s league trip to Weston-super-Mare (7.45pm) and has told the rest of the squad what he demands.
The Borough boss said: ‘I’ve told them that it’s impossible to achieve what we want to achieve over the course of a long season without a strong squad.
‘I can’t do that with 11 good players, I can’t do that with 16 players – I will need all of them.
‘I appreciate it’s not ideal at the moment for those players.
‘They all want to play and I understand that.
‘But I told them all that I need mentally-strong players and if they are not involved at the moment, then they need to be ready when they are called upon.
‘I let everyone know before the game that if they are mentally-weak and feel they need to get away, then to speak to me about it afterwards.
‘But nobody came to see me and that is a good sign.
‘I also appreciate that players need games so I may look at utilising the loan system but certainly not yet.
‘We’ve had a bit of interest in a couple of our players but I’m not looking to get anyone out on loan at the moment.’
Pike has hinted that he may make changes to the team for tonight’s clash with new signing George Barker tipped to get a start after a bright performance as a substitute on Saturday.
‘George was superb when he came on,’ said Pike.
‘He has only ever played league football and this is the first non-league club he’s been at.
‘He is a quality player.’