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Disappointed not to win, says pained Payne

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Fleet midfielder Josh Payne admitted he and his teammates greeted the final whistle yesterday with frustration as they felt the opportunity was there to have taken more than a 2-2 draw.

But the Crawley Town loanee will refocus his efforts on Notts County instead as he hopes a second home win will see Fleet into the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

“Looking at the lads in the changing room, the look on their faces, it felt like we’d lost really,” Payne said. “We’ve got a full week now to build on it, work on various bits and pieces, a brilliant FA Cup game on Saturday. We work towards that and have a rest from the league but we’re still unbeaten in five. So we’ve got to take the positives – the lads did look disappointed and I can feel it myself, that bit of disappointment, but we’ll take that point and we work through the week to get a result in the FA Cup.”

Payne was disappointed to see his side concede from a set piece once more but even at 2-2 thought the Fleet had chances to put the game to bed.

“That was disappointing, especially considering conceding the second by a set piece again but I thought we got ourselves back in the game,” he said. “The manager knocked the nail on the head when he said we lacked a bit of cutting edge in the final third so I think  that’s what it boils down to and the set play for the second goal was a bit of a sucker punch.

“I don’t want to blame the conditions because that’s no excuse but we’re overhitting crosses, we’re underhitting crosses, and sometimes it falls to a player and you know it’s a goal but today that wasn’t the case.”

With Kevin Watson now confirmed in the manager’s role, he can plan a more long-term strategy to improving the Fleet’s fortunes and Payne, on loan until just beyond the New Year, says there’s a good feeling about the squad.

“The atmosphere around the training ground is brilliant,” he said. “The staff, the management and everyone know there’s a good feel about the place. It would have been nice to do it at home for the fans today and give them something to go home and cheer about as well but we look to Saturday.”

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