We need to have some heart and passion, says Gravesham Borough boss Ricky Tompkins

Friday 08th September 2017

GRAVESHAM BOROUGH manager Ricky Tompkins says he questioned his players passion and desire as they struggle at the foot of the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table.

The club have drawn three of their eight league games but showed glimpses of promises during their 2-1 home defeat to Lydd Town, a result that put Liam Smith’s side top for 24 hours.

“I knew that this would be a tough game.  Lydd have always been a good side and are doing well this year, with a win they would go top,” said Tompkins.

“After Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Fisher, I had a long chat with the lads and although I thought again we were unlucky not to be getting points there, we still needed to have some heart and passion as well as trying to play pretty football.

“I think so far that’s been the hardest thing.  When you’re re-building, as any manager knows and you don’t have any players come back, you don’t have that one or two players who have that love for the club to wear off on others. Everyone has to find their own passion for a club and a lot of the time players are thinking they’re too good for the level, which is disappointing.

“But after Saturday, the boys seem to come with the hunger and passion that I’ve been waiting to see and really gave one battle to Lydd.

“We just lost out 2-1 but to have Lydd’s management team, chairman and even players come up and say we were the better side and we have a really genuine good squad, means a lot because you want as a manager to see things moving forward all the time and progressing.

“Since our first game to now I can see a massive improvement.  They said we have nothing to worry about and we will do well and that is something I had to put across to the lads.

“We have to respect the teams that have done well in the league for the last five years and Lydd are one of them so I appreciate all those words.

“I do believe we should have won maybe three games up until now and could’ve possibly nicked late goals in a few but it is what it is and we just have to work that bit harder.  It’s not far away and when it comes I believe it will flow from then on.”

Gravesham Borough welcome Cobham in The Buildbase FA Vase First Qualifying Round tomorrow, a side that are in the top-five of the Combined Counties League First Division table.

“We’re excited about The FA Vase after Tuesday’s performance and it’s a weight of our shoulders, no league points to play for, just a place in the next round,” said the former Otford United boss.

“I believe if we come prepared like we did on Tuesday it could possibly be the change of the season or start should I say.

“Cobham are a great side and are organised and will be no pushovers.  They will look at our league position and want to come at us but if we play like Tuesday, who knows?

“We just have to take one game at a time and I think Wembley is a bit ahead but we still have the dream and who knows, we could be finalists.

“The next few league games are definitely ones we have to win and the great thing about this league with everyone beating everyone, two wins and we’re near mid-table, which is our aim this year.

“The club is happy with the progress and moving forward with the team.  New players have been signed last week and a few this week so it’s getting stronger each week to where I want it to be.

“Good luck to everyone in the Vase games this week.”

Gravesham Borough  v  Cobham
The Buildbase FA Vase First Qualifying Round
Saturday 9th September 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Maidstone Road Sports Ground, Bournville Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LR