Justin Luchford outlines his view of the present situation at the club.
Three games in and no points on the board. And yet we could easily be sitting here top of the table with 9. There is a fine line in football between success and failure and we are certainly on that line at the moment. Bill Friend has worked with me for around 3 years in total and has always done the stats for every game. And yesterday I’m surprised he didn’t end up with cramp in his hand. He told me afterwards in all the time working with me he had never written down so much attacking statistics. We entered their attacking third 41 times, we had 24 shots, 12 of those on target and of those off target we hit the bar, missed from 6 yards, shaved the post, and missed two free headers. It certainly left me scratching my head afterwards. I wasn’t entirely sure what to say to the lads afterwards as what more can I ask for?
There seems to be a little bit of unrest around the club at the moment and I’m not sure why. We have had huge change this summer which had resulted in a lot of changes at the club. As with any walk of life no one really likes change but sometimes it needs to happen. We have a new chairman, lots of new faces on the management teams and some now doing different roles. Dave Fairclough is doing an outstanding job for Richard and I with the match reports on the opposition, Greavsey is really helping to outline our structure going forward as well as helping Bob, and the three management teams are all working extremely hard. The reserves are flying and there are some young young lads in there that we can have a look at for sure.
The bone of contention seems to be that we are disregarding lads that have been at the club for a long time. That’s not the case. No one has left under a cloud and contrary to common belief I haven’t ousted anyone either. Gary and Steve seeked new challenges as I couldn’t guarantee them regular football and left with my best wishes and no hard feelings. Wisker is leaving this week and probably heading for Herne Bay but again no hard feelings. I like them all as players and lads and have lots of respect for them all, but sometimes things change and at present I’m looking at a new side to maybe freshen things up a bit. Scott was left out yesterday for tactical reasons and yet eyebrows were raised. He is a young lad who has a real chance in the game. But he is also part of the squad and I will make decisions, sometimes right and sometimes wrong but always in the best interests of the team. People forget that when I came here Scott wasn’t really a 1st team player, but Richard and my staff have helped him progress into a valued squad member. It’s a squad game not about the first 11. Someone could sit on the bench for 10 games and then get a chance and play the next 30. That’s just football. The problem is at this level that the boys just want to play football, which means when they are on the bench they end up downhearted and moany if you like. That has to change for all clubs. This is the reason I have always called the Ryman South a glorified Kent league. As players still see it as just playing football when it’s much more than that. It’s a job. We are here to win leagues and win cups. The players need to realise it’s not just about playing every week. It’s about achieving those 3 points as a squad. Every manager at this level will tell you the same. When you go up the leagues the mind sets of the players changes. They are on contracts and they know they have a job to do as that’s what they are paid for. We will work hard on that mind set but it’s very difficult trust me. It’s those clubs that have everyone in the same mind-set that win things. Football is 90% mental and if you are mentally right you win. Look at Bognor. I spoke to the guys down there on many occasions and every player whether starting or not were ready to do their bit. They win and lose together and that’s why they are successful.
On paper we are bottom with no points but if you have been at the first three league games you will have seen that we are playing very well. We have lost by the odd goal and every game the opposition have been hanging on by a thread. Trigger asked me yesterday after the game if I had run over a black cat! But that’s football.
We need to settle down as a club and work together to get success. Believe me, Richard and I and my staff are working overtime to get things right and we will. We have showed we are a very good side but sometimes in football it doesn’t quite go for us. Granted it can’t continue, and if it does then my job will be questioned and I could be stood with you fans if we can’t turn it around. But what I will say is if you as supporters or members of the club want to point fingers then point them at me. Come and ask me if you want to know something. I’m as honest as they come and if you ask I will tell you. You may not like the response but at least it will be an honest one. There is too much gossip going on when a lot of people don’t know the facts. There is a meet the manager in a couple of weeks, so come along and I will answer any question that you have.
In the meantime keep getting behind these players As they have been excellent. We are a new side finding their feet and someone is going to be on the end of a hiding before long. We are working hard and it will come. If we play like that against Horsham a week Tuesday we will get 3 point, absolutely no doubt about that.