After the 5-1 win away to Sittingbourne on Saturday following the win at home against Herne Bay, Town manager Nicky Southall was keen to share his views about both games: “It’s important that the supporters know how I felt after the huge disappointment after what happened against Herne Bay, and my delight at the way we performed on Saturday.”

Nicky was speaking to Tony Rouse on Sunday.


Q.           After the disgraceful scenes at the end of the Herne Bay match how did you deal with it?

A:            I told the players the sort of behaviour will not be tolerated by me or the club in no uncertain terms. There is way we can just ‘move on’ without addressing the lack of discipline which I have not experienced before, I have let the lads know how disappointed the club, the supporters and I am with the way they behaved. There is no reason to get involved, as hard as it is the best choice is to walk away, it takes a big man to turn the other cheek but they have to learn how to deal with what goes on during a game. What was so disappointing is that until that point it was a good game, we were one nil up with ten minutes to go and well, to see all the players involved all over the pitch not a good advert for football. The point I would make is that players from both sides were at fault, not just my lads.

Q.           You’ve been telling me for a few weeks about how you have been close to signing a striker; then two came along at once.

A:            Since we lost out on Rook at the start of the season I have been close a number of times to signing a front man, now we have  two in Craig Thomson and Ashley Baverstock, interestingly they have scored three goals between them in two games. Shows just how much difference it makes beating an in form Sittingbourne side 5-1 with all the new lads doing so well, it was a nice feeling. To get back to back wins gives the whole club a massive lift plus some extra money into the club as it was a cup game will make the chairman smile.

Q.           You were saying how impressed you were by Craig when you went scouting and watched Hythe a few weeks ago.

A:            Yes, Hythe played some good football that day and although Craig did not manage to get on the score sheet his all round play was the reason Hythe won so convincingly. All eyes were on the lad who knocked the goals in but it was Craig who made them tick. He reminds me of Danny Kedwell with his no nonsense style and energy, never giving the opposition back four the chance to settle. In the week we worked on some positional stuff with both Craig and Ashley and you can see already they have an understanding, both have settled in well and have brought into my desire to play football, yes there is a time when you have to clear your lines but I want the supporters to watch their team win, but win playing with some style.

Q.           You have a number of young players in you squad, Charlie Smith and Scott Heard along with a few others, how do you see your role dealing with these young players.

A:            Some weeks ago I felt I needed to focus more on the development of the whole team, they can all be improved especially the younger lads. I know from the guidance and coaching that I had when I was young I listened and learnt and it helped me improve, I want them to buy into what we are doing at the club. No better example than Charlie as you could see today was on fire, he scored two but could have had four and his energy when he came on just as Sittingbourne looked to get back into the game pegged them back. Scott as well, he is a lad with great awareness and hunger to do well, but at times he just needs that split second of composure as he gets into some great positions. You saw today that Scott had a couple of one-on-ones today if we’d have shown a bit more composure we would have scored more. If you add in the others, I think all together we had four or five with just the keeper to beat then we could have ended up in double figures today.

Q.           You have a strong midfield and the popular talk in football is win the midfield and you will win the match.

A:            I don’t buy into that; to me it’s the third when the game is won or lost, by that I mean both ends of the pitch, the third at the back and the third up top. Keep them out at one end and score them at the other. Time and again you see a side dominate the middle and play keep ball but end up getting undone be a break away, but it’s not just banging the ball from back to front either. You need a strong defence which I believe we have a midfield that can link up back to front and a forward line that can add the finishing touch, which to me is how I want my team to play. If we can achieve that then we will give the supporters plenty to cheer about.

Nicky Southall was speaking to Tony Rouse the day after Town beat Sittingbourne 5-1 in the F. A. Trophy