We've just got to be hard to beat, says play-off chasing Hythe Town boss Clive Cook
HYTHE TOWN boss Clive Cook says he wants his side to be hard to beat as he wants to improve on last season’s top-seven finish.
The Cannons have played a couple of pre-season fixtures, losing 4-1 at Bostik Premier Division side Folkestone Invicta before beating Bostik North Division Tilbury 1-0 yesterday.
Tom Loynes, 24, a summer signing from their league rivals Ramsgate, dinked the ball past the advancing goalkeeper after latching onto Kieron Campbell’s fine pass after only 15 minutes to win the game.
Goalkeeper Joe Mant was one of five players to come off the bench at the break and he saved a penalty as Cook had a look at 20 players, as central defender Ryan Johnson and centre midfielder Sam Adams played the full 90 minutes.
Cook takes his side to Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Sheppey United on Tuesday night for their third warm-up game.
“Again, there will be some changes. They’ll be some minutes to see what they can do and basically that’s where we are,” said Cook.
“Each game is about giving as much as you can. Everyone wants to win a game of football, everyone. There’s no such thing as friendlies, you’ll be an idiot to turn around and go ‘it’s only a friendly. Yes it is but it’s about getting everything right and making sure everything’s right.”
Hythe Town finished the last ever Ryman League Division One South campaign in seventh-place, having won 23, drawn 9 and suffered 14 defeats. They missed out on a play-off place by only four points.
When asked about his aspirations for the season ahead, Cook replied: “The thing is everyone you talk to, they want to win it and they want to be in it (the play-offs) but the main thing is being in it and that’s the most important thing.”
There are 11 Kent sides in the Bostik South Division this season which means there are 20 Kent derbies to battle through.
“It was a tough league last year, it will be more competitive this year,” said Cook.
“There’s been a lot of people bringing players in, a lot of people changing around but who knows?
“It’s who starts well, I do think that. I think you’ve got to start well, you need to put points on the board early doors to get the confidence flowing.
“Points are going to be a premium, you’ve got to work hard to get those points. I’ll take every game as 1-0 – that will do!”
Hythe Town kick-off their new Bostik League campaign with a home game against Walton Casuals on Saturday 12 August.
“I mean, I’ll just take one at a time and see what happens,” said Cook.
“The FA Cup wasn’t too kind, none of them are. Corinthian-Casuals away, that will be a very good game but we fancy our chances everywhere we go and whoever comes so we’ve just got to be hard to beat.”
Visit Hythe Town’s website: www.hythetownfc.co.uk