It's time to get our season up and running, says Cray Valley boss Paul Gross

Friday 15th August 2014
CRAY VALLEY manager Paul Gross says he wants a win in The FA Cup to turn their fortunes around.

The Millers have suffered back-to-back defeats in the Southern Counties East Football League during the first week of the season.

The Eltham-based club went down to a 3-0 home defeat to Tunbridge Wells, before suffering a 4-0 defeat at Corinthian on Tuesday night.

The Millers are in the bottom three in the table and Gross is not happy with the way his first spell as a manager has begun.

“Not very good to be honest with you, quite a shocking start,” admitted Gross.

“One I wasn’t expecting after pre-season but I suppose I’ve just got to deal with it now.

“Pre-season is completely false. I think I said to you before I hated it as a player, I haven’t enjoyed it much more as a manager.  I thought I’ve lost players I didn’t expect to lose and I’ve gained players I wasn’t expected to sign.

“There’s nothing like the league games and that’s where you find out where you are and at the minute we’re not doing very well.”

Cray Valley’s Middle Park Avenue ground stages two FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round ties this weekend.

Tenants Erith Town host St Francis Rangers on Saturday at 3pm, whilst Cray Valley hope to get their season back on track when Raynes Park Vale visit on Sunday (13:00 kick-off).

Raynes Park Vale are in seventh-place in the top-flight of the Combined Counties League and are uneaten following their opening three league games.

They started their campaign with a 2-1 home win over Chertsey Town, before beating Epsom & Ewell 1-0 on the road and were held to a goal-less home draw by Knaphill in their last game.
“We’ve watched them, we’re expecting a tough game,” said Gross.

“They’re a big unit apparently, so they’ll be strong but no better time for my lads to turn it around, myself included.

“It’s a chance to be in The FA Cup and let’s get our season up and running.”

When asked about his own personal memories in The FA Cup, Gross admitted: “I didn’t remember too much! As a player I never took much notice about what was going on, that’s why I think a lot of people are surprised I’ve gone into management.

“I’ve always enjoyed it. It will be a prouder moment to manage in it than to ever play in it, I think.

“Yes, there is a vicious rumour going on that I’m a changed man, but we’ll wait and see.

“I’ve managed to hold it together so far. Let’s see what Sunday will bring.”

A big crowd is expected to turn out in force to watch Sunday’s FA Cup tie.

“The club deserve it,” added Gross.

“Hopefully it’s a big crowd and hopefully the boys raise their game and we can come out of it because if we perform the way we have performed the last two games it will be slightly embarrassing in front of a big crowd.

“Like I say, it’s our time to get our season up and running, stick together, dig deep and let’s see if we can come out of it the other side.”

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Cray Valley (Paper Mills) v Raynes Park Vale
The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Sunday 17th August 2014
Kick Off 1:00pm
At Badgers Sports Ground, Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, London SE9 5HT