Pike: Gosport need to show cup mentality

Ryan Pennery. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
Ryan Pennery. Picture: Duncan Shepherd
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ALEX PIKE wants Gosport Borough to approach their Southern League premier division game against Hereford at Privett Park on Tuesday as a one-off cup tie (7.45pm).

The Southern League premier division strugglers face an uphill task against the powerful leaders.

Pike, however, does not regard it as mission impossible for his team.

He believes if they treat it as a cup tie then there is always a chance.

The Gosport boss said: ‘I don’t want anyone in my changing room who thinks we have lost before we even go out on the pitch.

Football is an unpredictable game, if it wasn’t then there would be no point in turning up.

‘It is 11 versus 11 and about players winning their personal battles on the day. At the same time we are under no illusions as to the difficulty of the task.

‘There is a 71-point difference between the two teams.

‘That shows what sort of season Hereford have had and the one we have experienced.

‘Everyone is expecting us to be beaten so in a way we have very little to lose. I want my players to be competitive and brave on the ball.

‘If we tried to take Hereford on footballing wise then we will lose.

‘We will have to battle and it isn’t likely to be very pretty.

‘If we stick to our game plan and have a slice of luck who knows what might happen.’

Pike has brought in experienced striker Rowan Vine and he is expected to come straight into the squad.

The manager is also in negotiations to try to bring in two midfield players on loan from Weymouth and Bristol Rovers. Midfield is an area that has given Pike most cause for concern.

Up front Craig McAllister and Ryan Pennery have given Borough an increased goal threat.

At the back Borough are starting to look better organised and more resilient.

The problem has largely been in midfield where Pike needs a general.

He needs someone who can provide a box-to-box presence and at the same time give the back four greater protection.

Borough will need to do that a lot better than in their last game which ended in a 1-0 home defeat against Stratford Town.

It was a disappointing performance in a game where Borough could and maybe should have won against very ordinary opposition.

Borough viewed it as a great chance lost at a time opportunities are fast running out.

Pike’s team are bottom of the table and currently four points adrift of nearest rivals Dunstable with two games in hand.

With promotion-chasing Kettering Town next up at Privett Park in four days time it promises to be a testing week.