ALEX PIKE hopes Gosport Borough’s FA Cup tie against Bridgwater Town at Privett Park will bring some welcome relief on Saturday (3pm).
Pike suffered a bank holiday nightmare as he witnessed his team crash to an 8-0 home defeat against Basingstoke Town in the league.
He knows his team can ill afford another debacle.
Borough have endured a miserable start to their Southern League premier division campaign finding themselves bottom of the league without a point.
Pike is looking for a cup win to lift the spirits.
The Borough boss said: ‘I see the FA Cup as a welcome distraction.
‘What happened on Monday was unexpected and quite honestly came as a bit of a shock.
‘I never ever expected the players to give up the way they did.
‘We had them all in on the Tuesday to put things straight.
‘The situation is what it is.
‘You have to look after the young players but at the same time they have to start performing.
‘They have to step up to the plate.
‘If you look at the results it would seem they are out of their depth.
‘But when you know the ability they have and see them in training you know they shouldn’t be.
‘It is going to take a bit of time.’
Pike knows it is now important to get the team all together and make sure they are in the right frame of mind to go out and put the heavy defeat behind them.
They cannot afford to dwell on it and be down, instead the solution is to work even harder for the matches.
He added: ‘Maybe Monday will be a reality check for a few and show them that they are not yet quite up to speed.
‘It is now a case of man management to lift the players heads.
‘They all need different approaches.
‘Some need an arm around the shoulder while others need to be given a rocket.’
Borough are still without one of their most experienced operators Aaron Dawson through injury.
Striker Alex Przespolewski returns after family commitments and Luke King is expected to make his debut after a two-year absence through injury.
Pike believes a positive cup result is badly needed at this stage and it would provide such a welcome lift.
‘I can only apologise to the fans for Monday but we need them to stick with us,’ said the Gosport manager.
‘We all knew how difficult this was going to be at the start of the season.
‘I am convinced the team will come good.
‘We have got to start getting it right though and the FA Cup gives us a chance.
‘It is the greatest club cup competition in the world and if you are not up to playing in it you might as well pack up and go home.
‘We have to concentrate on what we do and get ourselves organised.
‘If we do that then we will be difficult to beat.
‘A positive result will lift every one at the club.
‘I can’t think of a better time to get our first win of the season.’