It’s going to be a very busy week ahead – we’ve got four games between now and next Saturday to try and build some momentum and shake off our defeat last weekend.
The majority of the game on Saturday against Havant & Waterlooville had 0-0 written all over it. Certainly, both dugouts seemed to think so.
Then with six minutes to go, one of our players slips in the box, leaves one of their players unopposed and he’s got a tap-in.
Havant are a good team – they won again in midweek, at Boreham Wood – so 0-0 would have been a reasonable result against them, considering our recent form.
We nullified Havant’s threat and tried to hit them on the break but we couldn’t find the back of the net.
We’ve only scored four goals in eight matches. I need to add more firepower to the squad and that costs money.
To that end, we have released goalkeeper Jamie Young to free up some of the budget.
We’ve been blessed with two League Two standard goalkeepers, really. Both Jamie and Mikhail Jaimez-Ruiz battled for the number one shirt at Aldershot and they’ve done so again here.
There’s little between them ability-wise but I had to make a decision on where I could find money to bring players in.
Jamie was one of our bigger earners and if I had kept him I might have had to let two or three players go. Mikhail has proved himself for us and kept four clean sheets.
Incredibly, we’ve still got 40 per cent of our games still to play – and 20 per cent of our season left to fit them in.
This coming week is the first of three where we play Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday. It means we’re likely to only have three or four more training sessions this season – the rest of the time we’ll be playing. It’s going to take its toll on the squad, not only with injuries but with pure fatigue.
We need to add depth to the squad and we’ve this week signed two players from AFC Bournemouth on month-long loan deals – striker Brandon Goodship and left-back Samir Bihmoutine. Their manager Eddie Howe rates them both very highly.
I’m also talking to a Conference Premier club about a striker and we’ll see what happens there.
I know fans don’t like loan deals, because they don’t think the players have the club at heart. But if you take young pros on loan, they want to impress their parent club, which in turn will benefit us. It’s a win-win.
It’s about finding the right character as much as anything. We’ve brought in numerous quality players and it hasn’t worked in one way or another.
But we can sell it to players as a chance to be a hero, by scoring the goals to turn our season around. It will do their CV the world of good and help us stay in the division.
We travel to Ebbsfleet on Saturday before Staines come to Kingfield on Tuesday. Both are on different runs of form – Ebbsfleet have lost just once in their last seven games while Staines have not won in their last five – but we won’t be treating the two any differently.
We’ve got just as good a chance of taking points from Ebbsfleet as we do Staines, it’s that kind of league.
With Roy Hodgson bringing in a psychiatrist to help England through the pressure of the World Cup, there has been a lot of talk about the mental side of football.
When a club has had a run of defeats like we have, it is bound to create a certain amount of fear among players, who might be scared to make mistakes.
But what we’ve done is develop an ethic which says if things aren’t going your way, you work harder to try and change it. If things don’t come off, you work hard to win the ball back and try again.
The saying really is true. There is no substitute for hard work.