/ Club News
/ Saunders Looking To Bounce Back
Saunders Looking To Bounce Back
Margate Manager Jay Saunders was disappointed to see his side’s unbeaten run in the Isthmian League come to an end against Cheshunt on Tuesday evening.
Two second half goals from the visitors ensured Margate suffered their first loss in the League this season, as Saunders admitted The Ambers deserved their victory.
“Firstly, I think we have to give credit to Cheshunt, they came with a clear game plan and pulled it off. We needed to deal with it better and after a slow first half, we said what we need to at the break, came out for the second half and their immediate goal really killed us. After that, it seemed like we never really recovered.”
“I have to hold my hands up and I am sure the players will as well because the performance fell well short of the standards we set. That being said, I can’t be too harsh, as besides the first half against Hayes and Yeading, the boys have done well. If we had come out for the game and played the way we did first half against Leatherhead or Hornchurch, I think we would have had a totally different result.”
Assessing the 90 minutes as a whole, Saunders reflected upon a frustrating opening half, identifying it as a key factor to the final result.
“For me, starting a game well has a really big impact, it sets the tone and on the night, Cheshunt to their credit were lively from the off. They had their shape and formation with the tall lad up front and whilst I would expect us to cope with that, I have to acknowledge that we are a young squad and not the most experienced. There will be occasions where we fall short and it proved that way on Tuesday.”
Saunders was forced into a handful of changes due to injury as he explained; “We had to change the starting eleven with Sess being out injured, so Jack Richards has slotted in. We’ve got Samuel in the squad now but he’s not been involved in match action since pre-season, so we couldn’t throw him in at the deep end. We brought Noel Leighton on but he hasn’t been involved in a proper training session yet. He’s still a long way away from being able to start a game but that’s where we are with the squad at the moment.”
Saunders and his coaching staff are continuing to look at options to add to the squad as the Manager admits he wants to strengthen “the spine” of his side.
“I’m being offered players on a daily basis but like I’ve said before, I will only bring the right players who I feel can offer us more and improve us. We won’t be throwing money about and will be looking at different things we can do.”
“One thing I noticed on Tuesday was that we did look a bit leggy, the energy we’ve brought to games was missing, so I’m aware we need to make additions and it’s something we will be working hard to do.”
Teams in the Isthmian League are taking on a busy fixture schedule and Saunders admitted it’s hard to predict results at this early stage of the season.
“I don’t pay too much attention to League positions until about 15 games in. With about five or six games down, there is not too much you can read into with results at the moment. I don’t think if you were a betting man, you’d have made too much out of Tuesday’s results! The mid-week matches do tend to throw up some more unusual results but teams will begin to find their rhythm. If you look at Kingstonian, they lost a few games but won again on Tuesday and will go on to prove to be a strong side.”
“I’m focused on us and what we can do to identify improvements and get better as a squad and I want that improvement to mean we can push for play-offs.”
One side who have had a tough start to the season is Saturday’s hosts Lewes. The Rooks languish at the bottom of the league picking up one point so far this campaign. Yet this is something Saunders reiterates, means very little.
“Lewes will be a tough opponent and Hugo will have them organised and well-set. It’s always a good place to go and play and I’m looking forward to it. We’ve got our challenges and it’s as I’ve always said, important never to get too high or too low. We will go over the video from Tuesday to get things right for the trip on Saturday.”
Thursday, 08 October 2020
By Charlotte Richardson