We're going for the play-offs, says Whitstable Town joint-boss Jim Ward
A run of four wins on the bounce has put Whitstable Town in the play-off picture – and Ward insists his side can sustain their play-off push.
The Oystermen sit in seventh-place in the Ryman League Division One South table, having collected 44 points from 30 league outings.
Whyteleafe, who won the Southern Counties East Football League (the old Kent League) title last season after a two-year absence from the Ryman League and sit in fifth-place with 46 points from 29 games.
“It’s got everybody going at the club,” said Ward.
“Four on the spin the Ryman League is good anytime, but when it takes you into seventh, now they’re talking about promotion and the play-offs and all that.
“People want to watch where were going and see what happens.
“The good thing about the place is the fact that everything’s positive at the moment and this game coming up on Saturday, it’s as big a league game that Whitstable have had for a long, long time!
Most clubs that have been promoted from the old Kent League have done very well in the Ryman League and John Fowler’s Whyteleafe have continued that trait.
“We done it with Ramsgate didn’t we? We came out the Kent League and won the Ryman South straight away and got promoted into the Ryman Premier,” reflected Ward.
“It’s the old adage, if you’ve got players’ together for a long time, you must have a good chance no matter what league you’re playing in!
“Everybody knows everybody’s jobs and that’s the way Whitstable are doing now.
“Whyteleafe will be tough. They were good up there when we played them up there, they’re big, strong and organised.
“It’s such a massive game. We’ve got a great fan-base here. We get 200 people here every game. We need that and more on Saturday. We need all the fans to get out.
“We will go above them (in the league table) if we beat them Saturday and that should really get the thing going.”
Whitstable Town came away from third-placed Folkestone Invicta with a morale-boosting 3-2 victory, that has got the Oystermen dreaming about promotion.
“We deserved to win,” said Ward.
“They had a bit more of the ball than us, but they’re entitled to that being at home.
“Going forward we were excellent. I’ve got about five or six players in my team who could be a threat to anybody.
“Now we’ve been able to keep the same team on the pitch for the last six or seven games we’re getting fruition out of it.
“The goals were excellent goals. They were what we worked on in training during the week and it paid off on the day.”
“At the moment we’ll play anybody. It’s good as well because we’re just playing Saturday, any little knocks that we’ve got, Ian Pulman and Tom Loynes both had to come off after an hour on Saturday, they’ll be alright again for next week.
“We’ve got the blend here now and everything that we wanted. We can certainly see something in the squad.
Whitstable Town are usually fighting relegation at this time of the year but Ward insists the club can sustain a play-off push.
“There’s only the fifth-spot up for grabs really, the other four are away and running,” he said.
“There’s five or six teams that are capable of getting into that.
“If we want to get into that fifth-spot then we just have to work hard and doing all the things properly.
“There’s a lot of teams that are frightened of the play-offs – but we’re not!
“The club here, the chairman, me and Danny and the players’ are relishing the fact that we may get an opportunity to get into the play-offs.
“We’ve got 44 points so that should mean we’re safe from relegation. Forty points, you should be safe. At least Whitstable shouldn’t have to deal with that this year.
“There’s loads of positives. It’s just after Christmas, let’s see where we finish at the end of the season.
“We’re going for everything!
“All off a sudden the phone’s going, people want to join. We’ve got decent players on the bench who can’t get in because the players in the starting eleven have got to stay in because of the results and each individual is doing a job.”
Visit Whitstable Town’s website: http://www.whitstabletownfc.co.uk/
Whitstable Town v Whyteleafe
Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 17th January 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Belmont, Belmont Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1QP