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Watt Salutes Squad After Seventh Win
Manager Steve Watt was full of praise for his squad after watching The Gate achieve a seventh win in a row after a professional display sealed a 2-0 victory against Burgess Hill on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking straight after the victory, Watt said:
“I can’t give the boys enough credit, during this tricky period with suspensions and injuries, they have managed themselves and dug out results.”
“If we look at the players we have warming up but not available to play, they’re some big, big players missing. Today we’ve had Bods filling in at right back who was outstanding again, young left-back Aaron and George have done well, held together back there by Friendy and Pidge and when you have the quality we have up front, you’re always going to score goals.”
A stunning free-kick from Frannie Collin and smart finish from Jordan Chiedozie proved enough for the hosts to continue their winning run and Watt was pleased with how his side executed their game plan.
“A lot can happen in a week, we know that very well ourselves. We lost three games on the bounce once and football has a tendency to surprise you. Our message to the boys was that whilst we were playing the team bottom of the league, these are the type of games that you can’t take anything for granted.”
“Our focus was not to let anything slip and I think you could see that by the way we started the match and at half time we were able to instruct the boys to manage the game. We made a few tactical changes and I thought we could have gone on to get three of four. But it’s three points and another clean sheet which is very pleasing.”
Adding further gloss to a brilliant afternoon, The Gate management team are beginning to see the return of a number of influential players, either from injury or suspension. Looking ahead to Tuesday night’s trip to Leiston, and Saturday’s journey to Needham Market, the timing couldn’t be better.
“We look to Tuesday night and we have James Rogers and Jack Evans returning and it was great to have Swifty and Tom Mills on the bench getting some valuable minutes too, so it gives me a headache.”
“We know we have a strong squad here but throughout this season so far, we’ve not had all of them available to us at one time. We’ve always been missing – not one or two – but four of five. So, it’s good to start getting those numbers back to give you some options to approach and change games.”
Whilst Watt’s team are one of the country’s in-form teams, the Manager refuses to get too carried away, especially when they face fellow play-off hopefuls mid-week.
“Leiston are a very good outfit and I’m surprised they are where they are in the table as I think they’re one of the best teams we’ve played this season. Glen has done a great job there and I know it’s going to be a tough game.”
“We know all good runs must come to an end at some point but we’re enjoying the form we’re on now and move onto Tuesday and hope to get another three points there.”
Reflecting on the club’s progress during his tenure at Hartsdown Park, Watt is delighted with how the club’s vision is beginning to come to life, even sooner than expected.
“We just focus on the next game. Given the changes we have had at the club, not just on the pitch but all over in the past year has been incredible. There’s one player left from the previous regime and unfortunately Sess is injured at the moment.”
“So, it’s a brand-new squad we have put together and the play-offs were something we were hoping we could get but thought could be a little far-fetched, considering the amount of changes but the boys have gelled and brought into what we want to do here.”
“I’m not looking up or down, just at the next game until play-offs are mathematically confirmed. And until that happens, we can’t celebrate anything. We have the hardest run in out of all the teams going for the play offs and we need to pick up as many points as possible.”
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
By Charlotte Richardson