FA Cup: Gosport's Alex Pike makes Brian Clough Cup wish

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FA Cup: Alex Pike reveals Brian Clough wish
FA Cup first round: Gosport v Colchester
Venue: Privett Park Date: Sunday, 9 November Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, FA Cup Final Score, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio. Highlights on BBC Two on Sunday at 18:30 GMT

Gosport Borough manager Alex Pike hopes the spirit of Brian Clough can help his side progress in the FA Cup.

Pike's Conference South side face League One Colchester in Sunday's first-round tie at Privett Park.

"Every time we go to Nottingham I stand by his statue and give him a hug and have a little whisper in his ear," Pike told BBC South Today.

"The last four seasons it's come true and this year I asked him to get us to the third round proper."

Pike, who visits Clough's statue each year, added: "Hopefully he's up there smiling on me and will grant me that wish."

FA Cup first-round facts
First-round winners will receive £18,000 in prize moneyLeague One leaders Bristol City, the highest ranked side at this stage of the draw, are away to Gillingham
Northern Premier League Division One North side Warrington Town and Conference South team Gosport Borough are appearing in the first round for the first timeThree-time FA Cup winner Phil Neville made the draw along with Derbyshire FA's Community Coach of the Year Tammy Snape before a 300-strong audience at the National Football Centre, St George's Park

Gosport's place in the first round of football's most famous cup competition is not only unchartered territory for the former policeman but also for the club.

But Pike, who had his career in the police ended after a serious car accident, is used to making history.

At the age of 31 he became the youngest manager to win the FA Vase and last year he could have become the first boss to win that and the FA Trophy.

Cambridge United had other ideas though, beating his Gosport side 4-0.

Brian Clough
Twice European Cup-winner Clough, who never lifted the FA Cup, has a statue in Nottingham

Pike, who feared he could have been paralysed in that accident of 1991, has led Gosport from the Wessex League to the Conference South - where they are unbeaten since mid-September.

He said he has moulded his managerial style on former Derby and Nottingham Forest manager Clough - but admitted his side are massive underdogs going into the game.

"When I was a young lad growing up, his discipline, passion, organisation was superb and (former Manchester United boss) Sir Alex Ferguson took that to the next level," Pike added.

"Clubs like ours survive on cup runs like this and long may it continue. Just because we are a non-league club does not mean we can't be professional, we've trained three nights a week, have watched DVD's of them and will give it our best shot.

"It's almost like a free hit. No one expects us to win, we are the underdogs whereas when I went to the Vase final or the Trophy final there was an element we could win the game. No-one has given us a chance with this. It's David versus Goliath and I'm looking forward to it."

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