Hard work and preparation is the foundation for success, says Ramsgate boss Lloyd Blackman
RAMSGATE manager Lloyd Blackman has revealed the secret behind turning around the club’s fortunes over the last four months.
The 33-year-old was promoted after Jim and Danny Ward were sacked on 5 January 2017 with the club sitting in the bottom five of the Ryman League Division One South table.
Ramsgate held champions-elect Tooting & Mitcham United to a deserved 1-1 draw in front of their largest crowd of the season (326) and Southwood Stadium on Easter Saturday, which extended their unbeaten run to eight games and takes the title race into the final two games, while Ramsgate remain thirteenth-place in the table, with 61 points.
Ramsgate left-back Jake MacKenzie scored his fifth-goal of the season with a stunning strike in the 51st minute, to cancel out Chase O’Neill’s stabbed effort five minutes before the break.
Ramsgate hit the crossbar twice during the game though Jake Munday’s first half header and Alfie Paxman’s deflected second-half strike.
When asked what he’s changed since taking over, Blackman replied: “Best asking the players, I suppose. The way I look at things, I think hard work, planning, preparation. We spend a lot of time making sure that we understand the players that we’ve got, how to get the best out of them, the opposition we play, we do our homework and our research regularly.
“First and foremost the players’ buy into everything that we do. We’re hard working, we’re professional and everything that we do is geared up to succeed so we’ve instilled that confidence into the players. I think they’re buying into everything that we say and with hard work and preparation it’s the foundation for success.”
Blackman takes his side along the Kent coast to Herne Bay on Easter Monday.
Sam Denly’s side have maintained their Isthmian League Division One South status for next season as they sit in seventeenth-place in the table with 50 points – 20 more than a Chatham Town side that have finished in the relegation zone, along with Three Bridges and Godalming Town.
Herne Bay went down to a 3-1 defeat away to South Park yesterday.
“Again, it is difficult. Us and Herne Bay are in a position now where it’s a pride thing,” said Blackman.
“League table wise we can’t go up and we can’t go down. It’s a local derby so our players have got to be prepared which they will be and they are and our focus is to make sure that we keep our fans’ happy, maintain this unbeaten run, keep the confidence going because we want to do the best we can until the end of the season.”
Ramsgate then host bottom-six side Molesey on the final day of the season next Saturday, 22 April.
Blackman said: “Fortunately it’s at home so we can give our fans a nice send off and hopefully for the summer. Our focus is on Monday, we’ll take Saturday when it comes. It will be nice to finish off at home but we’ve got two tough games.
“We’ve earnt the right to enjoy them over the last three months with the way we’ve been doing so a little like yesterday there was no pressure. We enjoyed the occasion, we did well a and we’ll be doing exactly the same on Monday and Saturday.”
Blackman was when asked about next season. “Win, win as many games as we can. We’ll be in pre-season, we’ll run it as professionally as we can. We’ve assessed our fitness levels now and then be able to re-assess them when they come back in after the summer and we’ll be briefing them to finish as high up in the league as we possibly can.
“I’m a young manager, young team, see where it goes. I’ve got great staff around me, a great bunch of players and we’re all here together. Who knows where it takes us. We’ll work hard and do what we can and see what next season brings.”
Visit Ramsgate’s website: www.ramsgate-fc.co.uk
Herne Bay v Ramsgate
Ryman League Division One South
Easter Monday 17 April 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Winch’s Field, Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5SG