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Attitude And Application Praised
Margate Manager Jay Saunders applauded his side for their attitude and application as a professional display at Burgess Hill Town earned a 2-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.
On the back of two wins at Hartsdown Park, Saunders expressed his delight after a hard-working shift in West Sussex.
“I’m really pleased. It’s never an easy place to come like I said during the week. They are a side fighting for their lives and were buoyed from last week’s comeback against Kingstonian.”
“For us, we knew it was going to be difficult and it was about getting a result as much as anything. Did we play some of the good stuff we did last week at Hartsdown Park? No, we didn’t. But what we did do was come away from home, be nice and solid defensively first and foremost and I felt we had the quality in the final third to win the game and we did.”
Whilst Margate picked up their third consecutive clean sheet this month, Saunders also praised The Gate’s attacking frontline who have made a real impact during his tenure so far.
“I thought the second goal was Tobi’s goal from the angle we were at. I’d give that to Tobi for out and out work-rate, he deserved that goal. I said after the game, Tobi and Noel – even if they’re not scoring – they have been unbelievable with their work-rate and attitude.”
“They get on well with the lads and I think if you were to ask them both, they’re really enjoying it and they’ve added to us and are a real handful for defences. I’m pleased to have them on board and hopefully we can extend Tobi’s loan and Noel is with us until the end of the season.”
A good afternoon all-around, Saunders was also able to give some younger players the opportunity to contribute with three substitutions playing a part in proceedings.
“I felt we were comfortable, other than hitting the post in the first half, I don’t think they troubled Louis at all. So, it was a case of being able to give them some minutes. I’d have liked to have done it a little earlier but we didn’t get that second goal until that point and I wanted to make sure we were right from set pieces.”
“Both Ben and Marshall will be with us until the end of the season, Jordan and Felix too, all of whom are promising young players with great futures and it’s great to get them involved. Where they are training with the lads, the senior players can see the ability they’ve got and are happy for them to slot in.”
Saunders reserved a final word of praise for midfielder Jordy Robins who has flourished since returning to the Margate starting eleven. A return made immediately by Saunders upon his appointment as Manager.
“Jordy Robins was outstanding today. Since I’ve been here, we put him back in the side and I think he has gotten better and better with each game. We’ve tried to help him with things like his decision making and today he was brilliant.”
With another positive 90 minutes under their belts, Margate’s unbeaten run extends to eight games, as Saunders revealed he is setting his players targets to aspire to end the campaign on a high.
“We go one game at a time. After the Bognor game, someone mentioned to me ‘You’re 10 points from the play-offs’ and I said to the boys, ‘I’ll set you a target, get those ten points as quickly as possible’. I’m not saying that will put us in the play-offs with other teams winning but we can see where it takes us.”
“I’ve said before, with the squad we’ve got, the team we’ve got, we should be in the top half of the table and what we’ve done is put six points on the board and we can still get a couple of wins.”
“What has pleased me is we’ve reeled other teams in and pushed ourselves away from the relegation zone which is a big thing. I really enjoy working with Mike and everyone. The boys have responded really well whilst the players we’ve brought in have invested in what we are trying to do.”
Attention now turns to the visit of Kingstonian to Hartsdown Park this Saturday. Saunders is fully aware of the challenge The Ks will pose and hopes to turn home settings to his advantage.
“There is a new Manager going in there and he will have a whole week to work with the squad now and he’s a very experienced manager which is an important thing. Besides that, they have got quality players whatever way you look at it. Their quality players, on their day, can cause you problems and win them games.”
“Today was a banana skin for us coming in off the back of a good win. Next week is the same. It’s easy to go into games, thinking we have done the hard bit, we’re safe etc but I’ve set the target to the boys, they’re responding so far and we’ve got to do the same next week. If we don’t we can come unstuck. We need to keep the attitude we have got going and if we do that, we’ll be ok.”
Monday, 25 March 2019
By Charlotte Richardson