Daryl McMahon warned his side that without an improved performance on Tuesday night against East Thurrock United, they will find progress hard to come by in this season’s Emirates FA Cup.
Fleet drew a blank in a goalless draw with the National South side and McMahon knows his side have another level to step up. “Last week against Macclesfield when we didn’t win, we played ever so well, the performance was very good and at the level I expect us to perform at,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “Whereas today we were far below our level and we need to come back onto the training ground on Monday and get ready for Tuesday. It was way below our standards but that happens sometimes in the Cup and the important thing now is you’re still in the hat for the next round.”
McMahon didn’t try to dress up the entertainment factor of this one, believing it was little reward for the travelling fans who once again turned out in numbers. “It was really boring,” he admitted. “From my perspective, in terms of my team, we didn’t do enough today, from the standards I expect of us. It’s important that we dust ourselves down again ready for Tuesday night back at home and hopefully the unbelievable crowd there today come out again and support us and we give them something to cheer about.”
The Fleet boss conceded that the hosts could have got the crucial goal to take them into Round One, but for a fine save by Nathan Ashmore. “They could have nicked it but for a great save from Ashmore at the end,” he said. “We go again Tuesday night but it wasn’t a good performance by any stretch of the imagination from us today. Now we need to get into the next round by putting on a better performance. We’ve got to be better than we were today without a doubt.
“Millsy did OK when he came on, he was a handful, Shields in the first half was very good but that’s probably about it to be honest, along with Ashmore’s great save.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday night, East Thurrock’s only previous visit to Stonebridge Road came last season when they lost 6-1 despite taking the lead. McMahon isn’t concerned with getting a similar result this Tuesday just so long as his squad takes their place in the First Round. “I’d take a good performance,” he said. “I’m not bothered about the score. I know if we perform well, there’s every chance [of going through].
Listen to full interview below.