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“The league table doesn’t lie, we’re in a battle”

Garry Hill has given his side time to respond to a poor August and get points on the board but Fleet’s first defeat of September had the manager admitting that the league table’s home truths are pretty much where his side are right now.

“I feel for the supporters and I feel for the owner of the football club,” Hill told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “That’s not a nice thing to say. The league table doesn’t tell lies. There’s a certain amount of time you ask for a new squad to settle in but I think we’ve had long enough to settle in. I thought those draws would hopefully today start turning into wins. They haven’t. We looked a very, very sorry team over the 90 minutes. That’s a big concern as a manager, for the supporters and for the owner.”

Where that leaves the club going forward, Hill conceded that both he and his players are in a battle against time as the team fell to a seventh defeat.

“We take a view going forward on the playing side,” he said. “The owner’s put a great deal of money in over a period of time, the supporters have been very loyal and conduct themselves in a manner where they deserve better than what they’ve had today.

“The supporters are very patient and understanding, the boss has been different class, he deserves better. If I can’t get better out of that, he might look at me. I have to understand that. I’m a football manager but a level-headed person. That was a performance which was not good enough for this football club or my leadership as manager to put a team out and perform like that on a regular basis. It hasn’t been a regular basis but that’s not good enough.”

The manager praised the supporters patience but he will have heard the frustration spilling from the sidelines following today’s reverse.

“I feel for the supporters,” he said. “They’ve been understanding and they’re entitled to show their frustrations. I respect and can accept that. If I was a supporter today I would be disappointed with what I’ve seen. You can’t paint over cracks and make excuses. We are in a battle for sure for a long, hard winter unless we turn things round.

“We have to look at where we are. The league table doesn’t tell lies after 12 games. We have players injured but the results are not good enough where we are now. I don’t want to be standing here kidding myself. The team have got to do better. Whatever team we put out on Tuesday against Barnet will have to do a lot, lot better because of where we are at the moment.”

Attention now turns to that Barnet game with Fleet becoming ever more in need of a win, with trips to Wrexham and Harrogate to follow.

“You’re always under pressure as a manager,” Hill said. “You have to be honest. It’s easy to send your assistant out or not talk to the press. That will never be a situation with me, I’ve never quit anything in my life but now I, if given the time, need to turn things round very, very quickly because it’s a results industry.

“So you have to look at yourself, and the players at themselves, and it’s got to change quickly. Otherwise there’ll be a situation that’s probably made for me and for other players. That’s football.

“We’ve been competitive and consistent over the last half a dozen games, one defeat in six, slowly and surely it was going the right way. But you can’t defend that [today], not if you’ve got any value. We come into a tricky period of hard games and we quickly have to turn draws into wins or something has to give.”

Listen below.

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