Daryl McMahon used the word ‘proud’ twice in five days to describe his side’s performances against Dover and Macclesfield and cited their whole-hearted commitment.
“When you’re 2-0 down and you draw 2-2 it feels like a win anyway I suppose,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “When you see your team work that hard and are that committed to the cause, I think every supporter’s happy with that. I think we are a good side to watch when we’re on it like we were today. Two-nil down to the champions elect so I’m really proud of the players.”
Fleet fought their way back into the game with a Danny Kedwell penalty and went for the jugular when Macclesfield were reduced to 10 men. “We just told the players to make sure we didn’t go flat and keep the ball moving quickly,” McMahon said. “Sometimes when teams play with 10 men they can slow it down. I thought we moved the ball really quickly after that. And we could have pushed on in that last seven minutes of injury time, if we had a little bit more guile. We lacked a little bit of composure, someone trying to be a hero instead of sliding it in between their defenders. But I can’t grumble. We were 2-0 down against the side who will be champions and we drew 2-2.”
The sending-off of Nathan Blissett was the big talking point. The initial assumption of an elbow was questioned by TV replays but at the time McMahon felt the fourth official might have been swayed by a kick after the players had turned away from each other, though the Fleet boss reiterated he hadn’t seen a replay of the incident at the time of speaking. “I’d seen his left leg kick out. I’m not sure exactly what happened before. Some of the lads were saying different things in the changing-room but for me, it looked like a red card but I haven’t seen it again.”
The manager believed his side deserved their point after a bright opening half hour and a strong closing 30 minutes.
“In the first half, up until their goal, I thought we played some really good stuff and in the second half, with the substitutions, we went for it and I’m proud of the players again,” he said. “I thought it was a really good attacking performance. We were just about to bring [Norman Wabo] on before the second goal went in, which I thought killed us. If we keep that 1-0 and get Wabs on at that time, that would have given us more impetus to go and win the match. But it is what it is and the players, as always, believe, the crowd believe and it was a terrific second-half performance.”
McMahon watched the results come in through the afternoon and maintained his view that the Fleet have the most work to do of all the play-of challengers. “It’s still difficult for us to get in there especially with other results and we’re the outsiders but we’ll keep going. I said before the game, we’re in a situation now where we’ve got nothing to lose so we’re going to try to win every match we play in. We might go backwards sometimes because of how many attacking players we’ve got on the pitch but today it worked.
“We want to be competing. You can’t make any statement about next season now. We’ll see what happens in the summer. I’m proud of what we’ve done and in the last six games, we want to win as many as we can.”
Listen to interview below.