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Hayden on Bowers & Pitsea and Cray Wanderers

Hayden Bird

Following the roller-coaster of Wednesday's 3-3 draw and in looking ahead to Saturday, the manager was in a reflective mood.

How do you view Wednesday's performance?

"To be open, I was really disappointed, not to mention frustrated. We knew the threat Bowers would present with the likes of Lewis Manor up front. We need to defend these situations better," summarised Hayden.

"I think it is fair to suggest that we dominated possession and controlled the game for ninety minutes. The flip side to that is in transition we were too easy to play against. In fairness to Rob Small's team, Bowers and Pitsea carry threat on the counter attack and have done all season."

Scoring three goals was definitely a positive to take from the game. What else pleased the manager?

"Yes, it was good to score three goals and very pleasing to see both wing-backs on the score-sheet. That shows that the players are getting used to the new system, the new shape. The biggest positive from the game was the performance of Teo Kurtaran. He is a young player who has been patient, benefitted from his loan with Chipstead and has returned ready to play. Having had a small setback with the knee injury, it was great to see him fit and playing so well. I'll include Declan Skura in that bracket. Dec has been out for months and we are delighted he is fit again. These lads have great potential and a big future here."

Having kept two clean sheets in the 3-5-2 formation, how disappointing was it to concede three goals at home?

"Disappointing is not a strong enough description. To be ahead on three occasions and to be pegged back every time is indicative of the improvements we need to make. It wasn't as if it was a game that ebbed and flowed, we attack, they attack, so to speak. We controlled the game throughout but didn't deal with three situations well enough. We cannot shy away from how poorly we defended. I know it and I can speak openly to you as the players know it. The dressing room was very quiet after the game. We were all disappointed and were all very frustrated. On the plus side, the team is now three games unbeaten. We may have dropped two points, but having come through a difficult period, we didn't lose and maintained our unbeaten run."

Can we expect to see D'sean Theobalds on Saturday versus Cray Wanderers?

"Yes, D'sean will definitely be in the squad. We both decided he should get a week's training under his belt before he is included. Having achieved that, he will be involved on Saturday."

Looking ahead to tomorrow, and with yesterday's transfer deadline, are there any further additions or changes to the squad?

"We tried to get Lewis Pearch and Mason Whitnell loan deals, but both fell through on Thursday morning. There will be no further additions, the squad is complete. In the last 4-5 weeks of the season, the players know what we need to do; finish the season strongly and win Kingstonian the Surrey Senior Cup for the first time in sixteen years."

On Saturday, we face Cray Wanderers. What are you expecting?

"I'm expecting a difficult game. Cray are fighting to stay in the division and, being Neil Smith's first game in charge, there is no doubt they will have an extra motivation to win. I'm fully expecting to meet a team that defies their league position. There is enough ability in the Cray team to be in a far higher position in the table."

Can you give us any team news?

"As I've mentioned, D'sean Theobalds will join the squad this weekend. Rob is obviously missing. We will assess Alex on Saturday, Ollie has the flue, whilst Shaney has been suffering all week with a nasty virus. Added to that, Fabio and Nyren are both very doubtful."

Published Friday 25th March 2022