Phoenix Sports manager Paul Bryon: We haven’t got a game next week, you can’t get any rhythm going and it really hurts you

Monday 31st December 2018

PHOENIX SPORTS manager Paul Bryon says the lack of games in the Bostik South East Division this season is making his players lose their rhythm.

In previous seasons there were 46 league games for each club in the division but The Football Association reduced the size of the division to 20 clubs during the summer and with Thamesmead Town sadly folding on 17 October 2018, this reduced the number of games to 36.

The Isthmian League gave each club two midweek games, against the  same team and the Velocity Trophy, Kent Senior Cup kicked-off during the early part of the campaign.

Bryon complained his players felt tired during the second half of their 2-0 home defeat to neighbours VCD Athletic yesterday.

Keith McMahon’s side rose to eighth-place in the table on 28 points from 18 games, courtesy of second half goals from Charlie MacDonald, 37, and super sub Malachi Hudson.

“I thought it would be a good thing not having 46 games but the problem we’ve got there’s three things that are happening,” said Bryon.

“One, you can’t get a rhythm going, with Thamesmead dropping out as well, you can’t get any rhythm going.

“Two, when you used to play Saturday’s and Tuesday’s you get to use the whole squad to keep people happy.  You lose players because they’re not getting a game because you’re only playing once a week.

“The benefit is you’ve got a full squad a lot more but sometimes you need those games to give other people minutes and stuff like that.

“I’m a little bit lucky with the ressies that we’ve got here (playing in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division) but it’s just difficult to get a rhythm going.

“When we were playing well at the beginning of the season we had a rhythm, it was decent and I was probably making one change every week.

“I had to make changes against VCD. It’s the first time ever that I’ve left Ashley Probets out since I was manager but I was worried about the pace down the wing.”

Phoenix Sports go into 2019 sitting in tenth-place in the table with 25 points from 18 games and they have extended their winless run to six games.

Their next game is on Saturday 12 January 2019 (15:00) when they host second-placed Hastings United, a side that are 11 points adrift of leaders Cray Wanderers, but with a game in hand.

“We’ve got everyone fit now, Jack Hopkins is coming back next week. I’ve got big decisions to make and we’ve got to sort it out,” insisted Bryon.

“These games have killed us, the way these games have gone.  We couldn’t do too much on Thursday because it was only three days before the game.  We couldn’t do anything on Christmas Day. We haven’t got a game next week, you can’t get any rhythm going and it really hurts you.”

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