Alex Pike admitted he was disappointed to only come away with a 2-2 draw in Gosport Borough’s pre-season friendly at Bognor but insisted: I’m looking at the bigger picture.
The Borough boss has put his side through some intensive fitness sessions since reporting back at the start of the month to give his side the legs for the new season in the National League South.
As a result, he believes his team is still shaking off the rust as they had to rely on Steve Ramsey’s stoppage-time strike to grab a draw.
Jason Prior put the Rocks ahead early on before a cracker from Ryan Scott before the break.
But Craig Robson’s header from a corner looked to have given the home side the win before Ramsey’s late effort.
And Pike believes a host of wasted chances is largely down to some tough fitness sessions.
He said: ‘I’m happy with the way pre-season is going. We are probably ahead of schedule.
‘The players will probably tell you that this pre-season is brutal and I think it has to be.
‘I wanted to raise the fitness levels and that’s probably why we are suffering in the games at the moment.
‘We haven’t seen the footballs that much and the lads are rusty.
‘We missed a lot of chances and it has ended up 2-2 with us scoring with the last kick of the game, which is a bit disappointing.
‘But I’m looking at the bigger picture. I wanted us to be fitter because I want us to play in a certain way for the new season.’
The Rocks fielded young Pompey goalkeeper Alex Bass on trial and he was called into action early on to parry away Mike Carter’s swerving shot.
But it was the home side who took the lead in the sixth minute as Prior netted against his former club with a smart volley from Alex Parsons’ deep cross to the far post.
Jamie White wasted a good opportunity to restore parity after a neat lay-off from Lee Wort but the home side should have been 2-0 up shortly afterwards when Stuart Green somehow managed to poke over the crossbar after a swift counter-attack.
Pike’s side were deservedly level just before the half-hour mark after a long-range shot from Scott rocketed into the top corner.
Borough continued to dominate after the break as Wort struck either post in the space of five minutes.
But the Rocks restored their lead 14 minutes from time as Robson powered home a close-range header.
Gosport then hit back again when Ramsey’s shot from 25 yards deflected past the keeper with virtually the last kick of the game.
Both clubs now host Pompey this weekend.
The Rocks take on the Blues on Friday (7.30pm) and Borough entertaining Paul Cook’s side on Saturday (3pm).
BOGNOR: Bass (Ender, 56), Crane (Atkinson, 65), Wollers (Starr, 56), Tuck, El-Abd (Cody, 56), Robson, Green (Warre, 56), Thomson (Rutherford, 56), Prior (Beck, 56), Dodd (Wild, 59), Parsons (Rowlatt, 56).
GOSPORT: Ashmore, Cuthbertson (Woodward, 59), Woodford (Brice, 59), Pearce, Wooden, Scott, Robinson (Ramsey, 59), Carter (Ryan, 59), Dunford (Wilde, 59), White (Stephens, 59), Wort.