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Friday, June 18
Royston, UK
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Blog: Ups & Downs

So sorry guys, haven't ducked out of blogs recently but had a few family issues to deal with so here goes with an update from my view!! At the time of the last blog we had just come off an amazing run and everyone including me were looking forward to the next match at Egham.

Now with due respect to them I and am sure you guys were expecting a positive result to match previous ones but how wrong was I? Give Egham credit they had just lost their manager and were performing for their new man but we were poor!! From back to middle to front! No excuses it didn't happen for us.

Consequently we had a further blow when I received a text that night on the way home from Paul Bastock stating his situation! The events of that one have been well documented and we had a Thursday training session hopefully looking to get back on track. We introduced a new goalkeeper in Mikhael Ruiz who had previously last year played Conference South level last year.

Unfortunately going into the Hanwell game we only had the one training session so defenders getting used to keeper and vice-versa was difficult. Now that played a part but a complete lack-lustre performance was dealt out by us and quite rightly we got tanked!

So within a week we had gone from title challengers to also-rans, back into the pack! I for one was not a happy bunny!! So coming up were two cup games, which if we had carried on with our recent form could have been disastrous! I told ALL the lads to look in the mirror and see where we could improve individually as well as collectively. I said I would be doing the same as in my view you have to look at yourself before looking elsewhere. Now I'm a believer of not changing winning teams BUT! something in my opinion had to be done about our poor midweek form!!( before Hanwell every game we had lost was midweek). So come the Egham game I FRESHENED it up and rested some! The lads coming in didn't perform how I know they can. At Hanwell we had the problem of the change of the goalkeeper and I went with in my opinion a slightly different shape which the lads found difficult to come to terms with. So lessons learnt from me and hopefully the lads have looked at themselves and addressed a few things??

At the end of the day I can only control training and match days! The boys get great preparation from Scott Taylor our fitness coach on those days and with the inclusion of food and ice baths and compression garments, we try to prepare for the next game as much as possible. More than any other non-league club I've been at but it's the other preparation that I can't control. The late nights/lack of proper food away from club etc; In fairness to the lads I'm certainly not accusing anyone of this but with them all having other jobs it must be very difficult to keep on top of these sort of things. It's an inner discipline that being an ex-pro was easy for me because if you didn't do it you were out!! I understand all the variables which make it hard but if we can all look after ourselves just that bit better the reward will be there for us at the end of the season!!

On a brighter note the result on Tuesday was brilliant. Well deserved and a great scalp to take!

Saturday was a little Jeckyll & Hyde performance. Really not at the races 1st half then a great 2nd half show where in truth we could and should have seen the tie off. Fair play to Potters Bar though and a eagerly awaited replay on Tuesday at Garden Walk to come!! Ups and down of a season eh!!

Cheers,

SC