We need to bring in one or two, the balance of the squad is just not right, says Tony Russell

Wednesday 13th August 2014
VCD ATHLETIC manager Tony Russell says there is something missing in the make-up of his squad.

The Crayford-based club clinched the Ryman League Division One North title on a dramatic final day of last season, but the club has been given a baptism of fire going into their inaugural Ryman Premier League campaign.

The Vickers went down to a 4-1 defeat at Tonbridge Angels, who were playing their first game back in the division after suffering relegation after three seasons in Conference South.

Russell’s side then went down to a 2-0 home defeat to Maidstone United last night.

Jay May scored his second goal since his move from Conference South club Bromley, where he scored ten goals and was the target-man that helped now Dagenham & Redbridge striker Bradley Goldberg help himself to 24 goals, winning the Conference South golden boot.

VCD Athletic didn't look like scoring after Matt Bodkin bent a left-footed shot into the bottom far corner in the 61st minute.

VCD Athletic are rooted to the foot of the table and Russell revealed last night that he will axe players who are talking back to him during half-time team-talks.

VCD Athletic will need to quickly pick up points if they are to avoid emulating Thamesmead Town – a similar sized club – of suffering relegation after just one season.

“I generally think we can beat anyone, I generally believe that. I generally thought we’d win,” said Russell, 35.

“I’m also realistic to say after the game we didn’t deserve to win. Even the game Saturday, there wasn’t much in the game but we didn’t do enough to win the game.  At half-time the game was over.

“I felt for Razor (former Tonbridge Angels player Ray Powell, Russell’s assistant).

“I know he was excited going back to Tonbridge Angels. We put in a really bad performance. Second half we was alright. The first half was so bad and I felt for him.  I said to him I’m sorry. I wanted us to take him back there and show everyone what we was doing and we’re just not doing it.

“It’s just really frustrating.  I think there’s ways of losing. At least have a go!  The more worrying thing is people aren’t doing the things we’re asking them to do.

“Like second half (against Maidstone), I have no idea why everyone kept going through the middle of the park when we’ve got three in there.  Everything’s going into Shaggy’s (Michael Power) feet where they’ve got two centre halves jumping all over him.

“It’s the worst game plan. I have no idea why they’re doing it! I might as well stay indoors and watch television with the kids’. It’s pointless.”

Russell said he will go to chariman Gary Rump to see if he can strengthen his squad at this early stage into the campaign.

VCD Athletic have an excellent playing surface at Oakwood this season, which will suit Russell’s eye-catching brand of passing football.  The club have appointed former Charlton Athletic groundsman Colin Powell to look after their pitch.

“We need to bring in one or two, the balance of the squad is just not right. But we don’t like doing that,” said Russell.

“Managers’ go through players a lot every week. You can go and watch and I do a report on them and a week later they’re completely different. We tend not to do that. We tend to stuck with the ones we’ve got because of the way we play. We want to mould them in.

“If some of them aren’t playing well I stick by them. We always do that and I’ll back myself to coach them but they’re attitudes aren’t right.”

When asked the difference between Ryman One North and the Ryman Premier League, Russell replied: “It’s hard to say. We haven’t been blown away (by Maidstone or Tonbridge). No team has opened us up and blown us away so it’s hard to say because we haven’t played well. You could say they’ve stopped us playing well but something’s missing. 

“You ever tasted something and you always think there’s something missing? You eat something and you think there’s something missing.”

Two years ago the club were playing Kent League football and began their campaign with a 5-1 home win over Beckenham Town, before coming away from Cray Valley with a 2-0 midweek win.

The club has come a long way since then.

Russell said: “It’s the first time I’ve had this. I’ll get my head round it.   I’ve just got to dig in and learn and learn quick!

“I’m just fed up of leaving grounds with the hump and to be honest with you I’ll never get used to it!

“Last year it was amazing. It’s a drug. The feeling of winning all the time is a drug. I think I’m an addict!

“It was easy. We were winning 8-0, 7-1 and 6-1 last year. It was brilliant.

“I wouldn’t swap that for this. This is more of a test. Standing in the dug-out with good mangers and you’ve got to see if you can pick things off them.”

VCD Athletic welcome Hendon to Oakwood on Saturday.

Gary McCann’s side are in fourteenth-place in the table on Wednesday morning after beating Bury Town 2-0, before going down to a 2-0 defeat at Metropolitan Police last night.

Russell has sent someone to watch the Greens ahead of Saturday’s game.

He said: “They’re a passing team apparently. The email I got Monday, I haven’t had a look at it yet, but I’ve had a rough look through it. They pass it, they’re lively.

“I generally stand by it. I generally think if we play the way the way we want them to play, we’re a handful for anyone.

“I think we were alright for 60 minutes (against Maidstone). I don’t think we were brilliant, we were alright.  I thought it was an even game and you have to react and goals change games they say, only if you let it change. We threw the towel in when the opposing team scored a second.”

Visit VCD Athletic’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/vcdathleticfc

VCD Athletic  v  Hendon
Ryman Premier League
Saturday 16th August 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN