We have provisionally tabled something with the chairman but it is his call, says Erith & Belvedere caretaker manager Jamie Leggett

Sunday 05th March 2017

CARETAKER manager Jamie Leggett says he wants the Erith & Belvedere manager’s job.

The 31-year-old took charge of the club’s 2-1 home defeat to Corinthian yesterday, taking over after John Wilfort and Paul Springett both quit the club on Thursday, having lost their last five games and plummeted down into the bottom three of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table.

Goals from Grant Brown and Nad Nwitua lifted spirits at Park View Road as coach Leggett ended a miserable run of form.

“Myself and Luke Coleman co-managed the team yesterday with Baris our coach,” said Leggett.

“Luke helped as he has been a good friend of mine for a long time. He has a lot of experience of playing at a high level under some very good, experienced managers.

“We got the players’ in a little early to speak to them about the situation. We mainly thanked them for coming after Wilf’s and Geordie resigned, which remains a very big shame.

“We explained to them that we all have let Wilfs down as players’ but it’s now the opportunity to put that right.

“I think what was good for us yesterday was the fact that Luke was there to speak to the players’ and he has no experience with what has happened recently.

“He explained that he is a good friend of John and he knows John must have resigned with a heavy heart.   However, he made it clear that whatever happens moving forward we must galvanise as a side and look to put the wrong things right now.

“We explained that the beauty of football is you have an opportunity to put things right and use their disappointment with what happened last week to put in a good performance.”

Reflecting on yesterday’s win over Corinthian, Leggett said: “Corinthian, probably outside of the top three or four, is one of the hardest games we could have faced.  They are a good side with a great management team, they are well drilled and are renowned for their passing game.

“They have demonstrated that only recently with their good form with wins over teams like Sevenoaks.

“We agreed to set the team up based on our strengths and recent frailties and the way they play would get us a result.

“We asked the players’ to pressure them high in possession and unsettle them as best they can, winning the ball higher and creating good chances would give us a platform to play from.

“We knew that we have underperformed recently and that was nobody’s fault but the players’. Therefore, when confidence was low, it was important to be resolute and give nothing away. I am pleased to say every player listened to that and done exactly what we asked.

“Second half we were obviously high in spirits after coming in 1-0 up and started by pressuring well again.

“After the game we said we should have put the game to bed really at the beginning of the season half as we hit the bar three times but fortunately got the second goal, which was so important.

“We then conceded a sloppy goal from our point of view as it came from our throw but Luke and I said the most pleasing thing was instead of players’ heads dropping, which would have been easy, they defended excellently, which showed real character to get the points.”

Erith & Belvedere have now banked 23 points from their 28 games and have Lordswood (21 points from 29 games), Beckenham Town (19 points from 28 games) and Fisher (18 points from 29 games) below them in the table.

“It was a massive win for the team and the club against a good side. However, as Luke said it was bitter sweet as Wilfs and Geordie are good friends of ours,” highlighted Leggett.

“However, we have now challenged the players’ to have the same committed performance next week (at Rochester United) as all of our games are cup finals. It was also important as all around us really dropped points.

“The league table looks a bit better after the three points but there is a long way to go yet and lots of cup finals to play.”

Leggett has spoken to chairman John McFadden about being in charge of the team for their remaining 10 games of the season.

“Yes, I have spoken to the chairman about his thoughts but it is now up to the chairman and what direction he feels is best for the club,” said Leggett, who started his playing career in Bromley’s youth team.

“We have provisionally tabled something with the chairman but it is his call. Of course, it would be wrong of me to confirm what was discussed before the chairman but we are hopeful there is something agreed by next week.

“I think what is important is the players’ responded to us yesterday and how we wanted to play and I think that is very positive moving forward.

“I had a lot of support on social media before and after the game and I would like to thank everyone for that as well. 

“Now it’s just down to discussions with the chairman and making sure that any position is right for myself.  I’m sure as developments evolve the club will release a statement.”

Visit Erith & Belvedere’s website: www.erithbelvederefc.co.uk