Pike: Result counts more than style

Alex Pike, right, is hoping to mastermind a Gosport win against Lee Bradbury's Hawks
Alex Pike, right, is hoping to mastermind a Gosport win against Lee Bradbury's Hawks
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Alex Pike is happy to win ugly, if it means securing a place at Wembley.

Gosport Borough’s approach to the first game at Westleigh Park, which ended 1-1, was based on a direct style and tailoring their game to the difficult conditions.

And Pike is prepared to do the same again, if the circumstances require it.

He said: ‘You were an absolute idiot if you tried to play football on that pitch. It was impossible.

‘If we are lucky enough to end up at Wembley, my supporters will not care how we got there.

‘A semi-final is just about getting through.

‘This game is about winning and my duty is to win football matches.

‘Ideally, you would love to play attractive football all the time but you have to adapt to the opposition and the conditions.

‘If you have a poor pitch and you are up against a team which is technically better, then you have to play a certain way otherwise you may as well hand them the tie.

‘We’re not prepared to do that. It’s not in my interests to let them play their football.’

Pike, however, believes his team must show more attacking intent on their home turf and says he will go with an extra striker, after using Mike Gosney behind Tim Sills at Westleigh Park.

The Borough boss said: ‘We will definitely play 4-4-2 at home.

‘We’ve got to attack them and we can’t hand them the initiative.

‘I think we have to play differently to how we played on Monday.’

Borough have drafted in cricket covers and machinery to protect the pitch and remove some of the water in an effort to get the game on.

And Pike trusts his players to come through if the tie goes all the way to extra-time and penalties.

He said: ‘We’ve had a few penalty shootouts in recent seasons and we’ve won them all, so I don’t think we need any more practice.

‘It’s a complete and utter waste of time practising for a penalty shootout. It’s nothing like the real thing. You pick your best five and trust them.’

He added: ‘We’ve got covers on so everything is in place. This game will be on.’