A difficult one to take

Kevin Watson may have suffered a second Saturday defeat but he felt his side deserved so much more this week than the late loss at the hands of Stockport County.

“It’s a little bit of a difficult one to take. We tried to play in the right manner,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “After Chesterfield you can lament the final part of that effort where we go under. I’m not sure we’d done enough to win the game today but I’m more than certain we didn’t deserve to lose it.

“I’m not going to criticise any of my players today. I thought they put in a magnificent effort. We just need to be more ruthless in front of goal. We were the other night on a decent pitch but today we slashed at a couple when you’d expect calm, cool heads.”

The Fleet boss felt his side were denied a penalty in the first-half and he also had reservations about the award of a free-kick in the lead-up to the winning goal.

“We’ve had three very good chances where we should score,” he said. “Gozie gets fouled for a penalty in the first half and that doesn’t get given and their goal comes from a free-kick in front of us here where Alex Lawless has got his hands up in the air, he’s not touched the guy who falls on the floor and from that free-kick they end up with the a corner and end up scoring from it.”

While acknowledging it was another game that slipped through Fleet’s grasp, Watson still believes the points left to play for are sufficient to reel in teams above.

“There’s 27 points to play for,” he said. “I listened to the results as we came off. If Glash puts that [chance] in at the end, it’s another point when all around us have got zero so that’s the difficult thing to take was that it’s a missed opportunity for us.

“You always have a look [at other results] but you cannot control that. You’ve got to control the controllables which is what we’ve got to do and get our own house in order and worry about our own results.”

Fleet now face a period on the road, with the next home game not until March 21st and Watson will hope the surface dries out by then as once again it dictated the way both sides could play football.

“It’s sticky, the ball doesn’t run true,” said the manager. “The wind dried it out but that just made it like a gluepot so it was difficult all round. We tried to pass it in the way we want to create our chances and we had three or four very good chances.

“I can’t criticise any part of the effort and trying to play the game in the right way. You can see how difficult it is to stand up on that pitch and it is the same for both teams, But this area in and around in front of the dugout is particularly bad and the boys can’t keep their feet on it. It’s ridiculous really but we can’t do anything about that.

“There was a couple of times where Glash has picked it up and tried to run at their full-back and it’s ended up coming off his knee while he’s trying to run with it. So it’s difficult for the wide boys who I’ve asked to pick the ball up and carry us up the pitch as opposed to playing balls into the front and us not getting up the pitch. The other night, two goals came from Adam Mekki picking up the ball and running with it. I would like to see anyone try to run on our pitch without it playing tricks on them.

“I will say it’s next to impossible to play the way I would like us to play on that pitch. On good surfaces, barring a couple, we like to pass the ball and we have players who want to play that way.

“I said at half-time, take a leaf out of Stockport’s book – they probably are where they are from doing the basics well in this league. It bounces around, they hook it, turn you and run after it. Every time we did that in the second half we looked like we were going to get an in. You have to take the risk out of playing on this pitch which means not running with it too much.”

But Watson acknowledged that his side’s greatest failing for all the effort was a lack of shots on target.

“Glash has had a glorious chance at the end to nick a point but let’s get it right, points are not really good enough anyway,” he admitted. “Josh Umerah has gone through twice and I think slashed at a couple or they’ve gone wide. Adam Mekki put a great ball in which just drifts wide of the far post where you need someone arriving to get on that. We had chances where the keeper could have been worked more for sure.

“There wasn’t much in the game, Jordan’s made some good saves  in the first half. They looked good but I think he’d have expected to save them. We didn’t work their keeper enough, we had some great passing movements but it was just the end product today.”

Listen below.


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