We need to continue the momentum that has been built, says Margate assistant manager Mike Sandmann
MARGATE assistant manager Mike Sandmann says he is targeting maximum points over their four festive games.
Margate are in eighth-place in the Bostik Premier table after they beat Brightlingsea Regent 4-2 at Hartsdown Park on Tuesday night.
Steven Watt’s side have collected 37 points from their 20 league games and are one point adrift of fifth-placed Hendon, who occupy the final play-off berth.
Margate welcome tenth-placed Wingate & Finchley to Hartsdown Park tomorrow, before they travel to Surrey to play Dorking Wanderers on Boxing Day, Tuesday 26 December (15:00).
Margate then travel into Suffolk to play Leiston on Saturday 30 December, before hosting their East Kent neighbours Folkestone Invicta on New Years Day, 1 January 2018 (15:00).
“As we enter the Christmas period, we will be looking to pick up maximum points as always,” said Sandmann.
“We know this is going to be tough with a lot of games in a short period of time, which we will need to manage the squad.
“We have put ourselves in an excellent league position, with a game in hand. We need to continue the momentum that has been built.
“The squad has been excellent and you see players coming in and out which makes for a healthy balance of competition.
“Throughout the tough period of games it’s really important we have as many players as fit as possible. We have been very lucky throughout the season with players unavailable but credit to the players for not allowing this to be a factor.
“We started our Christmas period with a good win over Brightlingsea, coming back from being behind to win 4-2. We weren’t at our best but again showed fantastic character to put in a fantastic second half performance.
“Tomorrow’s game against Wingate & Finchley is going to be tough but we will be looking to overturn the previous 1-0 defeat at their place.
“The players will be determined to not be beaten tomorrow, being at home we want to make Hartsdown Park a tough place to come and teams are finding that with one league defeat at home in the league.
“Dorking Wanderers are a good side, who have found themselves in a tough league position, so will be desperate to get three points. We know their strength and areas that we feel that we can exploit.
“Leiston are a very good side and will be another tough away game but we have shown already this season when we get it right how we cause a lot of teams trouble
“We look back at the home fixture and see that as two points lost rather than a point gained so this will give the players’ extra incentive.
“Folkestone is a good Kent derby, this will be a very good game for all involved. They have started extremely well this season and we will need to be at our best to get three points.
“We have a tough run of games but we are in very good form 10 league games unbeaten and we want to be in a play-off position for the turn of the New Year. We know what we need to do and are confident with the squad we have got as ever.
“There is a really good feel around the club at the moment with everyone pushing in the same direction, the work behind the scenes with extra events always being organised is excellent and certainly bringing everyone together.
“The supporters have been excellent and we all wish them a Merry Christmas and hopefully we can continue rewarding them through performances and winning football matches.”
Visit Margate’s website: www.margate-fc.co.uk
Margate v Wingate & Finchley
Bostik Premier Division
Saturday 23rd December 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hartsdown Park, Hartsdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 5QZ