Romping home with the online man of the match vote on his debut, Jermaine McGlashan says his new teammates can take double comfort from their win over King’s Lynn Town – the boost to morale and the one step closer to Wembley.
“This [win] was massive in terms of morale more than anything,” the new signing told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “It’s how you want it to go for your first game. I’ve had just under a week to meet the boys, and the gaffer and the boys have been great with me. Obviously off the back of the last result it’s good to get a reaction and be part of it and in similar circumstances in terms of it being 10 men.
“I’ve been [to Wembley] once, it was great and like I say this is a welcome competition in terms of that but we use it as a platform and the closer you get the more you start thinking of that. But the bread and butter is the league.”
McGlashan is under no illusions about the size of the task ahead in the league but he says he’s ready and willing for that fight.
“I already knew one or two of the boys and Steve Lovell so I’m quite familiar with the place and I know where we’re at,” he said. “I wanted to come in, [be] part of the challenge and I know what’s ahead of me in terms of the league. That’s the bread and butter and it’s nice obviously to get through in the cup. It’s a good distraction and a welcome one in the last 16 but I’m here to do a job, be part of it and hopefully crack on.”
A win against the odds this weekend will have set Fleet up nicely for the visit of Harrogate Town and after the collapse at Barrow with 10 men, McGlashan was impressed with the response in similarly challenging circumstances at the Kuflink Stadium.
“There was a sense of relief because the boys worked their socks off,” he said. “A lot might have been thrown at them in the week off the back of that [Barrow] result. You need a bit of luck sometimes when you’re defending well and I think today, with a clean sheet more than anything, you felt that sense of relief and then I think people are looking forward to having a good week and going into that game against Harrogate.”
Being reduced to 10 men for the second time in seven days was certainly a blow and for McGlashan, who hasn’t had as many minutes over Christmas and New Year as his teammates, one that at the time he thought would be a mountain to climb.
“I’ve probably not played as much as I’d have wanted to recently so it was always about getting my second wind today,” he revealed. “And when we went down to 10 men early doors I was thinking, this is going to be one of those afternoons. But fair play to the gaffer, he’s kept two up top as well. He said at half-time we can even win this game. The lads believed in him, we’ve gone out and grinded the result and held on and we didn’t really look like conceding.
“You can talk about back fours and conceding late but to a man, as a whole, from the front we worked – whether it was me and Josh [Umerah] just dropping in on the deepest guy, that’s where it was at. We worked on it a bit in training, getting back to the basics of just defending as a unit and you saw that today.”
Having already had a taste of one relegation battle while on loan with Chesterfield, McGlashan is keen to help his new side turn things around at the bottom of the table.
“It was a similar situation at Chesterfield and there’s more than enough points to play for,” he said. “Back to back wins in this league can change things, and confidence. There’s belief in there. The big thing for me is when I sat down and had a chat and looked at the last few results, there was a lot of draws in there as well.
“Sometimes you need a lift, a few new boys. I’ve been there and a couple of new faces sometimes just freshen up the place, to come in and help. That’s the vibe I’ve come in here with.”