We want to get ourselves out of the danger zone and move up the table, says Bromley boss Neil Smith

Friday 30th September 2016

BROMLEY boss Neil Smith says his side must be clinical in both boxes to start climbing the Vanarama National League table.

The Ravens are struggling in their second season at non-league’s top table and face two massive six-pointer games.

Bromley are in the bottom-five with three wins, two draws and seven defeats to their name.

Smith, who turned 45 today, takes his side to Southport tomorrow and they host Woking at Hayes Lane next Tuesday night.

Southport welcome Bromley sitting second-from-bottom in the table on 9 points (two wins and three draws), while Woking are presently one place above Bromley with the same playing record.

“Southport are just below us so we know it’s going to be an important game,” said Smith.

“They’ve got Steve Burr in, an experienced manager to try and give them a lift, but we know it’s going to be tough, but we’re ready to give it our best shot.”

Despite their lowly league position, Bromley have been playing well but are being punished for not putting the ball in the net and making mistakes at the back.

Smith said: “We played well against Macclesfield, where we lost 1-0 at home, hit the crossbar twice, hit the post three times, had a couple cleared off the line. Out of the three shots on target they had, they scored one.

“Then we go and play Maidstone away and the boys were really absolutely fantastic. We really worked really hard and got a 2-0 win, could have been more.  Alan Julian saved the penalty but by then we could have had it wrapped up.

“And we play Forest Green away, had a game plan, the boys set it out, very hard to break down, they scored but we had chances at the other end as well.

“Unfortunately we played Dagenham & Redbridge and got back into the game, a great effort to score the goal from Rob Swaine and then we lose him a minute later. We go another goal down and give a penalty away within three minutes.

“It’s not going our way, but as I said to the boys, we’re not going to be an unlucky team – we’re going to be a hard working team. Keeping that in mind we’re going to work hard like we have done in training and go to Southport, roll our sleeves up and give everything that we’ve got.”

Smith made 180 appearances for Woking and managed them from March 2007 until the end of that season, keeping the club in the Conference.

“I was there for nearly six years and when I came out of professional football or League football Woking was the next club I went to and I enjoyed every minute I was there,” reflected Smith.

“I took over as caretaker manager for six games to keep them up, which I did.  I was very proud to play for Woking and manage them for the six games.

“But I’m Bromley. I live in Bromley and schooled in Bromley so all that goes out of the window and I want to do the best for Bromley that I can and I want to take the three points.

“It’s going to be another tough game. We’re all in the same position, Woking, ourselves and Southport and we all want to get ourselves out of the danger zone and move up the table.

“There’s no easy games at the moment for Bromley Football Club and this will definitely won’t be one either.”

Smith was asked why he thinks his club are struggling in their second season in the National League.

“It’s been different because we probably weren’t making as many mistakes as we’re making at the moment and any minor mistake is getting punished severely where we might have been making mistakes last year and not getting punished as much,” he said.

“We were creating all the chances last year and we were probably scoring them.  There’s been a difference, I think, not in the mentality, everybody’s giving me 100%, but I just think up front we haven’t been taking the chances and at the back we’ve probably been punished for our mistakes.

“You have to be clinical in both ends and that’s’ probably where we’ve been lacking.”

Bromley go into the game on the back of a morale-boosting 2-1 home victory over their league rivals Maidstone United in the Kent Reliance Senior Cup First Round on Tuesday night.

“We trained on Monday, before the game against Maidstone on the Tuesday.  Lee Minshull for instance, whose coming back from injury, a couple of young boys that have been doing well in training got an airing. Dan Johnson came in and did extremely well against Jay May so there was a strong side that played against Maidstone to give me a view of people.

“Blair Turgott and Dave Martin played, some of the players who’ve played all season, and they’ve given a good account of themselves.”

Bromley are now focusing on tomorrow’s trip against Southport and avoiding defeats to two teams in and around them in the relegation area will be most welcome.

Smith said: “We came in yesterday with a plan for Southport.  We know their strengths and weaknesses as well.  The boys have got to work hard, as long as they work hard and we put in a strong performance for me we’d either get the luck or won’t but we won’t stop trying and that’s what they’ve given me for however long I’ve been in the job.”

“I’m not asking for any more than I’m asking.  I’m asking for exactly more of the same – just be more clinical in both ends.”

When asked whether he’s set a points target for these two massive games, Smith replied: “No! I want to win Saturday and then we’ll take it from there.  If I start looking too far ahead I’ll take my eye of the ball, which is the next game and the next game is Southport.

“That’s the one I want to go into. We’re prepared, we want to go and win the game and then we’ll move onto Woking and prepare for that one. Only one game at the time!”

Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.tv

Southport  v  Bromley
Vanarama National League
Saturday 1st October 2016
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Haig Avenue, Southport, Lancashire PR8 6JS