As we approach the halfway stage in games played in this league it’s fair to say that I’m happy with what we have achieved so far, says Welling Town boss Danny Wakeling

Saturday 04th January 2020

WELLING TOWN manager Danny Wakeling says he has watched the video of his side’s surprise 4-3 defeat at Greenwich Borough nine times.

The Boots slipped up against Ben Kotey’s bottom-of-the-table side and as a result Welling Town are sitting in ninth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 25 points from their 16 league outings.

Wakeling takes his side to fifth-placed side Hollands & Blair today.  Simon Halsey’s side have claimed 32 points from their 18 league outings.

“We head to Gillingham expecting nothing less than a tough challenge which is par for the course at this level,” said Wakeling.  

“Our Step Five League must be the most competitive in the country. Any side on any day can pull off a result, irrespective of league placings.

“The table is beginning to form a little shape in terms of a top six-eight but despite that the sides at the bottom are still capable of getting wins which was shown last week.

“We’ve now hit the period of the season where the weather and pitch conditions can and will play a significant part in how we (and other sides) will need to set up in order to adapt a tad.

“We adapted superbly last week on a wet and heavily sanded pitch and kept and passed the ball with real punch and purpose and attacked endlessly.  It was fantastic to see our lads adapt to the tweak in shape in order to counteract the pitch conditions (it was certainly playable and credit to the ground staff at Phoenix too, no complaints or backhanded compliments from me whatsoever, genuine praise only) and stick to our principles and play in the style and manner we want to play in each game we step into the pitch.

“I’ve watched the game back nine times and get caught between marvelling at our how the lads played the game, crediting Greenwich Borough for staying in the game no matter what during sustained waves of attacks from us and for showing great spirit throughout and then also not being able to deny the fact that ruthless streak in me will be dealing with box six-yard boxes in the immediate term too because despite how well we played.

“To score three goals away from home should pretty much secure three points.  The bravery to play in the manner that we did was commendable and that was a key factor in our sensible post game de brief where players were empowered to speak up.

“It was the most mature post game de brief I’ve ever witnessed to be fair to all the lads, delivered with real intelligence and calmness as well. That said, each player knew that our feelings as a management team and although we praised the performance, everyone left that dressing room very aware of an area of the pitch I want us to improve in and certain players have a chance to take that opportunity and reinforce and re-establish themselves as key players prior to the impending arrival of a couple of challengers for those spots.

“No one takes a shirt for granted on a Saturday afternoon and whether I’ve known someone on a personal level for a number of years, or a player has been established for a number of years in one club, if I get a sense of complacency whatsoever then turning it over.

“As management; we have goals we are striving for so any lack of application gets sorted out.  However, we choose to do so in order to for us to have the expected levels of communication, punctuality and performance of individuals and as a team.

“With the amount of ball that we had and with the chances created in comparison to what we faced in and around our own box there should have been only one outcome in that game but sometimes all it can take is for one player to not be at an acceptable level and you can get chinned.

“Each point we earn in this league is to be cherished and respected at all times. Nothing else will ever, ever do.

“As we approach the halfway stage in games played in this league it’s fair to say that I’m happy with what we have achieved so far  - but it’s not quite at the halfway point and I want to see who has now got that inner core and drive to push on more and more from right now and over the next four months or so and fight for the right to put our shirt on and play football each and every week. It’s as simple as that.”

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Hollands & Blair  v  Welling Town
Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 4 January 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Star Meadow, Darland Avenue, Gillingham, Kent ME7 3AN