Ashford United manager Danny Lye: It’s the fans that keep football clubs going in their dark days so all they can do is come down and support the team and we’ll put on a show for them and make it worthwhile and that’s it really – and have faith!
ASHFORD UNITED player-manager Danny Lye says his sole aim is to concentrate on football matters ahead of Saturday’s FA Vase tie.
There has been plenty of speculation over the club’s future in recent weeks but Lye is solely focused on the club’s home Second Round tie against Steyning Town.
Ashford United are sitting in third-place in the Southern Counties East Football League table with eight wins, four draws and four defeats and are eight points adrift of leaders Hollands & Blair.
Steyning Town, who play one level lower than the Kent side, in Division One of the Southern Combination Football League (the artist formerly known as the Sussex County League).
They are in 12th place in the table (bottom six), having won three, drawn two and lost five of their league outings.”
“You do know when you ask me questions, I’m only going to talk about football. If you’re going to ask me about other stuff, you’re wasting your time,” said Lye at the start of the interview.
When told that the interview was to concentrate on the game and not the club’s perceived financial problems in the background, Lye added: “We’re looking to have a good run in The Vase. I don’t know much about the team we’re playing, but we’ll give them a good game and advance through to the next round, so that’s what we’re aiming to do.”
Ashford United are favourites to progress through to the Third Round of the competition.
Lye said: “The boys are confident. We’ve got a nice settled side now. We’re playing good football at the minute. We’re not scared of anyone in our league so we’ll go at them and attack them on Saturday.
“We had to change a lot of personnel when I took over. We’ve got quite a few out, we’ve got some in to improve the squad.
“It takes a little bit of time to settle down. We’ve started to settle down now. We’ve got a good mixture of experience and youngsters and quality.
“I think I played one game in The Vase last year, that’s the first time I ever took part in the competition. There’s not many games, I think there’s seven games to get through to Wembley, so we’ll be looking to have a good run, 100%, yes.
“We’ve got a few injuries at the minute. We’ve got Micky Phillips, myself, Gary Clarke, quite a few central midfielders out for Saturday. Jack Healy, is cup-tied Other than the injuries we’re looking strong, even without them we’ve got a nice strong side that will start on Saturday.”
Despite everything going on behind the scenes at the club, Lye gave out a positive message to the club’s fan base.
When asked whether he had a message for the fans, Lye replied, “Of course, keep supporting your team! Football will carry on. It might take a couple of weeks, or a couple of months for it to die down, football will carry on at Ashford, so keep coming down and supporting the boys.
“It’s the fans that keep football clubs going in their dark days so all they can do is come down and support the team and we’ll put on a show for them and make it worthwhile and that’s it really – and have faith!
When asked whether the off-the-field issues are making things tough at present, the Ashford United boss replied: “Not really, no, not really. It doesn’t really faze me, none of this talk and stuff that’s going on.
“We’ve got a clear perception what’s happening at the club. The boys have been getting their wages so there’s no reason to worry in football ways.
“Everyone has to remember we do it for fun because we enjoy doing it. The players will come and we’ll play another game of football. I don’t feel pressure from that sort of stuff. I’ve got my own company, which has its own stresses.
“We’re calm and happy to carry on.”
Visit Ashford United’s website: www.ashfordunitedfc.com
Ashford United v Steyning Town
The FA Vase Second Round
Saturday 21st November 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Homelands Stadium, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth, Ashford, Kent TN26 1NJ