Fleet’s new midfield signing Frankie Sutherland has said if his new teammates can build momentum, that will be key in a rise up the table.
The former Bromley man helped Fleet see out the final 20 minutes on top against Notts County and with his previous experience at this level, he knows what it takes to make things tick in a National League side.
“From what I’ve learned from this league, a lot is momentum,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “You always get a team that’s not in that top half that comes from nowhere. I don’t see why it can’t be us. Belief, a bit of momentum, a little bit of luck with a good fanbase and we’ll see where we can go.”
And having spent a couple of days training with his new colleagues, the 25-year-old former Republic of Ireland U21 believes they have what it takes to dig the Fleet out of a poor start to the season.
“It hasn’t been the best of starts but that doesn’t mean we can’t go on a run,” he said. “Especially from the last few days of training that I’ve been in. There’s more than enough in that changing room that we can go on a run so if it means it’s a tackle or a block on the line or something like that, bring it on. That’s what I want to do. And the more fans we have here and if we can get it rocking, then so be it because we’ll make this place a fortress for sure.”
One such tackle, pretty much his first touch in a Fleet shirt, was greeted with a huge roar by the home fans and Sutherland is already impressed with the backing the team has received despite the lowly league position.
“The fans were brilliant today,” he said. “There was a good noise, especially in that second half, and I know we felt it but I’d say they felt it as well. Really in that second half there was only one team in the ascendancy and the momentum never shifted and I think a large part of that was the support that got behind us.”
Sutherland is a player who didn’t miss many games for Bromley last season and it was a strange feeling to come on with only 20 minutes left to try to affect the game.
“I’m delighted to get back out there,” he said. “I was sort of just waiting in the wings eager to get going, watching the first few games, waiting to come in.
“It’s hard [watching it] but you’re obviously wanting the boys to do well and you’re seeing refereeing decisions, et cetera. I’m coming back after a season of playing 90 minutes every week so it was a bit unfamiliar for me but I suppose it gives you a bit of time to look at the game and when you do get on, you can see things where you can try and affect it. And that’s what I tried to do. It was a tight game, there wasn’t really much in it, it was edgy and I just tried to give it a spark, whether that was a tackle or anything I did.”
Having spent two seasons in the National League with Bromley and before that with Whitehawk and Woking, Sutherland is more than aware of the ups and downs of the Fleet in recent years.
“There’s a lot of things that have been said from the outside and I can’t comment on last year,” he said. “But I do know from the year before in the play-offs and last year, it’s still a very good side with fantastic backing.
“Last year, that’s gone now, a large group of the players are new here. There’s a lot in that changing room and more than enough ability, there’s good lads in there and good pros that will work really hard. That’s the basics a supporter wants to see so get the fundamentals in and let’s build. That point certainly helped.
“It’s nice to come in and get that first point on the board but that means nothing if we don’t go to Boreham Wood and pick something up. This squad is more than capable of going there and picking three points up and if we do that, we look back on a two-game header and we [potentially] take four points from it, it’s a start.”