Soaked to the skin, Daryl McMahon felt much the same way about the 90 minutes as most observers inside the Kuflink Stadium when he described the afternoon’s events as a “drab, horrible game”.
“It’s not a great day,” McMahon told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster after Fleet fell to their sixth defeat at home. “Harrogate played the conditions slightly better than us. I don’t think there was a lot in between the teams again. It was a pretty drab game, their first goal – I think it’s a foul on Winfield, he’s pushed two hands in his back and fouled him. The second goal, they’ve taken a quick set piece and we’ve switched off from it. And that was it between the teams, there was nothing else that really happened.”
While the Fleet boss felt aggrieved at the first goal, he refused to criticise Somerset official Richard Hulme. “I’ll see it again, from first viewing I thought he’s [Callum Howe] pushed Dave in the back. But I’m not one to complain about referees. We’ve had him for the play-off final, he’s always been a decent referee for me. I’m sure he got some wrong today and got some right like everyone does every week.”
McMahon conceded his side need to turn things around at home ASAP but are perhaps lacking the confidence to make the right calls in games.
“It’s disappointing that at the minute we don’t get the rub of the green and sometimes towards the end of the game, some players are maybe lacking a bit of confidence at home which happens, it’s human nature, you can’t help that feeling if you make a wrong decision or a bad decision because you’re so desperate to make a right one and win the game. We have to stop chasing that and just let it come to us by doing the right things.
“It’s alien in my time here as manager for us to be like this, what’s happening right now. Sometimes it’s difficult to put your finger on it – we have to turn it around at home without a doubt because you end up putting too much pressure on your away performances which is difficult to do.
“All you can do is roll your sleeves up and go to the next one. That’s what I do, that’s what we all do and to be fair the players do that. You see them come out and work ever so hard in every game we’ve played here. I don’t think we’ve been outworked by anyone here at home. But we need to do a bit more and I can’t hide the fact of that.”
Home debutant Reise Allassani took a knock but the Fleet manager confirmed he should recover in time, while Jack Payne is back with the squad from Monday with Myles Weston and Ebou Adams away on international duty.
“Reise’s OK, just a kick but we couldn’t get the ball down to him really. It was a scrappy, horrible game in poor conditions and we couldn’t really get him on the ball so it was difficult for Reise to do his stuff. Jack Payne’s back from Eastleigh and he’ll go back into the squad. He’s gone away and done well and got his games that he needed to get.”