Settled team is paying off for us, says McMahon

When Fleet last won 4-0 at this level of football – against Stevenage in 2008 – Daryl McMahon was employed by the opposition. Although he didn’t play that day, it was somehow fitting that he’s been present at both 4-0s, 10 years apart, with today’s win propelling his side into the top 10.

The Fleet boss praised his side’s clinical approach but also thought their defensive duties were spot on, shutting the door on Guiseley completely.

“It was a good win, good to get back-to-back wins at home as well and two clean sheets so happy days for us,” McMahon told BBC Radio Kent’s Matt Davison. “We were very clinical in front of goal, we defended pretty well and I thought we caused them a threat. They didn’t have a lot of chances if I’m being honest, I thought Nathan Ashmore had minimal stuff to do today.

“We started really well and funnily enough the best period of the game for us was the 20 minutes after half-time when it was a bit of a dead rubber. But for us to get through that period and defend properly and defend well, we always felt if we kept a zero in that period, we’d kick on at the end of the game and that was the most pleasing. We’re just learning and evolving as a team and getting people on the pitch a bit longer in terms of consistency. We’re getting a settled team and it is important.”

McMahon was able to give his skipper his first 12 minutes of football since August and revealed it was actually more of a tactical switch than just letting Dave Winfield have a run-out with his side 3-0 up.

“They brought two big men on up top,” said McMahon. “So we thought we’d get Dave on. We thought they’d go more direct so it was just to deal with that. It was nice to get him on the pitch.”

Danny Kedwell scored his ninth goal of the season from the penalty spot, courtesy of Sean Shields’ setup, while Kedwell turned supplier for Weston’s strike late on – and his manager is still much in awe of what the Fleet No.9 offers.

“For the two and a half years I’ve been manager, we’ve had Keds with Godden in the first year, Keds with McQueen in the second and we’ve got Keds and Coulson at the minute which is working pretty well,” McMahon enthused. “The mainstay in that has been Keds, he’s an outstanding player. The pass for Weston’s goal was different class. He’s a big player for us and Coulson’s doing great as well. That little No.10 position, he hasn’t played there before really, but he’s clever enough to sense spaces and Keds can find him.”

This was Fleet’s first return fixture this season, against a side we’d met on the opening day, and McMahon felt his side should have won that one in August.

“Even though we were the new team in the division, we should have won that game,” he said. “We mentioned that today before the game to the players about that first game of the season that we should have won, and we maybe owed them one as well. Every team in this league is dangerous. Their front three have been getting goals and they’ve got a good manager. I think they’ll be all right come the end of the season.”

Fleet made up another point on the play-off spots and now sit four off the top seven. McMahon was reluctant to predict where his side will finish but was adamant about their increasing competitiveness in this division.

“You don’t know in this league. We’re in and around [the play-offs]. We’ve still got loads to improve on, we know that, but we’ll see where it takes us. I’m not going to make any predictions, all we want to be is competitive and so far we are.

“It’s very physical, teams do the basics well, teams are fit, teams are organised. You’ve got to bring that minimum every Saturday and if you bring your quality as well, you probably win more than you lose and we’ve done that quite well recently.”

Listen to the full interview below.


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