Staying up is our priority, then we can build for the future

After three weeks of kicking our heels, we finally returned to action on Tuesday night – but we couldn’t get the win we’ve been looking for.

The 2-1 home defeat to Farnborough followed a similar pattern to previous games, with a couple of individual mistakes which proved costly. It’s been the story of our slump, really.

Our endeavour is good but all the time you’re conceding goals through individual errors it can have an effect on the players’ morale.

We are creating opportunities but we need to be a bit more clinical and a bit more savvy in our decision-making in the final third.

Teams go through slumps at all levels of football. All you can do is work hard and tweak a few things.

It’s harder at non-League level because you only get the boys twice a week.

If you’re playing on a Tuesday night, there’s no training time to revisit things that went wrong on the Saturday. You have to go straight into the next game hoping the lads can write a few wrongs.

We’ve spent the last few weeks watching the rain wipe out our fixtures but it wasn’t the weather that led to us having last Saturday off.

Our scheduled opponents, Gosport Borough, were busy beating Havant & Waterlooville in the FA Trophy semi-finals.

But, although we still have to play Ebbsfleet and they weren’t playing last weekend either, we weren’t allowed to bring our game forward.

I don’t know the ins and outs of it but I was told that the Conference wouldn’t sanction it. It just beggars belief we weren’t able to get a game on.

Havant are our opponents at Kingfield this weekend. That semi-final defeat may have a deflatory impact on them – hopefully! – and we’ve beaten them at their place already.

Lee Bradbury’s doing a decent job there – he’s a very good young manager and they haven’t lost many games of late.

It’ll be a tough game but they’ll all be tough from here until the end of the season. We just have to start keeping clean sheets and getting points on the board.

Six defeats on the trot is disappointing but I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating chances.

Of course it’d be great if we had a 20 goal a season striker but we’ve brought players in with that pedigree and it just hasn’t worked out.

It goes back to money and the contract/non-contract situation.

If you say to a player the only way of coming here is to sign a two-year deal, you have to back that up with pound notes. Then, if it doesn’t work out, you’re left paying a player until his contract runs out.

I’ve been quite frugal with the budget. When you’re not playing games and there’s no matchday income, you have to be very wary of the chairman’s financial commitment to the club. As a manager, you can’t be a bull in a china shop, demanding this, that and the other.

When I talked to the club in the summer about the job, I knew the budget had been cut by 33 per cent. And last season they avoided relegation by four points.

That fact alone means your back is against the wall from the word go. It’d be interesting to see a comparison of the league table and the budgets each manager has – I think it’d be about bang on.

Right now, we need to rally together and get enough points to keep us in Conference South. Then you can look to build for the next season.

This run will be weighing heavily on every player’s mind until we get the win we’re looking for.

As a coaching staff, we didn’t leave the training ground until 10.30pm on Thursday, and I’d been there from 4.30pm, so we’re doing the hours.

Certainly as a manager you never really switch off. I finally turned my phone off about 1am on Thursday night but then you wake up and there’s messages from agents or other managers or players and it starts again.

We’re putting in a lot off the pitch too, such as the new academy that has been announced, but we know the first team has to be performing.

We worked hard on Thursday at training trying to change a few things and hopefully that will bear fruit on Saturday.

Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook