Farnborough Manager Spencer Day gives his reaction to Saturday’s late 1-0 defeat at home to Sutton United and looking onwards.
“Obviously Saturday’s last minute defeat was hard to take. We all have bad days and officials are no different and I think it’s widely accepted the referee made a howler in the last seconds of the game. Sutton will argue that it made up for the two other contentious decisions but having seen them a dozen times now I think the ref got those right, that’s never a foul in the first half and there’s a covering defender as well and the penalty that wasn’t looks a dive.
I’m disappointed that my player has stepped in to calm down the Sutton player who’s going straight at the ref and he got booked for intervening! That summed up the afternoon as we got very little from the officials and their forwards were all over my defenders yet as soon as we touched them it was a foul. Of course I’m sure our opponents will have a different view but football is often a matter of opinions.
HOWEVER having said all of that Sutton deserved to win, it’s the manner of the winner that we are furious about. After an even first half where neither keeper had much to do our keeper has made three good saves to their keepers one. We were hanging on to a decent point to stop the rot at home but instead of switching on to the shocking award of the free kick we started moaning at the ref and let their forward slide in unopposed to score the winner.
We improved from the previous home games and tried to pass the ball more but the reality was the opposition were stronger and more experienced and although it was tight they certainly edged the second half so I made it clear to the dressing room that don’t hide behind the free kick at the end that led to their winner.
So its decision time and two months into the season I’m experienced enough to realise we are not good enough and I’m not willing to give up and let the team go down with a whimper. I accept we are not in a crisis position yet as sit 17th but players have had enough time to show me they can perform at this level and the last few weeks have clearly not been good enough nor shown me we are not far away that if I persevere it will turn around.
I also strongly believe we are in the entertainment industry and at home we just haven’t performed and that’s got to change. It’s the common issue that attendances dwindle when results and performances aren’t good but that’s when we need fans to keep our income up but you can’t blame them! Our loyal support is still there and the vast majority support our attitude to finances after the administration but it’s really hard with the playing budget I have.
I’m currently operating at the same level of money I had just to survive at Step 4 so that gives you an idea of where we are. Therefore with this two week enforced break I’ve decided to make major changes to give us the best chance of survival this season and getting back to the entertaining style I think we’ve attempted most of the three years I’ve been here. So,
Matt Ball has been sold to Wealdstone for an undisclosed fee. Matt was our most expensive player and with the fee and his wages this will give me a great more range of flexibility.
Lewis Ferrell has been released. Again Lewis was one of my top earners and to bring in further quality I need to release funds.
At least one or two others will be leaving before our next League game. With the loss of Matt Bevans as well this will mean a significant change to the squad although my core of youngsters will remain, it’s my more expensive players that are moving on in order to change things around.
I have some significant negotiations ongoing to bring in experienced players and I’ve little doubt we will be a different team by the time the next couple of League games come about. One or two Football League players are hopefully on the horizon too. Announcements will be made in due course.
We welcome Neil Woodyear to my coaching staff and he has already made himself popular with the players and will be a great help to Leigh [Dynan] and myself. As usual Leigh has been fantastic support and continues to work tirelessly for the club. No one on my staff has received a penny so it’s cost them to be here and I am very grateful to them. We’re not happy with the pitch at all and have let our feelings known formally to Reading. We have a meeting planned later this week to resolve the issue.
Phil Page has accepted the captaincy and will be a popular choice.
We have arranged a home friendly this Saturday (25 October) against Ryman Premier League side Grays Athletic, 3pm kick off. It will be a ‘pay what you like’ game with a minimum of £1 for over 16’s. Before that between 12.30-1.45pm we intend to hold a meet and play the players in the main bar where you can challenge the squad to pool and darts as we did last season. I appreciate their may be a few new faces but all the more reason to turn up and get to know them a little!
It’s not ideal and I take full responsibility of having to make these decisions. I’m grateful to the players that have left and we wish them the best and we look forward to introducing new players. A settled experienced squad is something we just can’t afford and I won’t risk the playing side de stabilising the clubs good work financially.
Many of our competitors are changing players regularly too so it’s a reality of life unless your winning and have a big budget. We are where we are and we always knew what a tough task it is but by wheeling and dealing so far this season the income from sales has meant we haven’t had to pay a penny in the playing budget. It’s not enough in my opinion to stay in the division so it’s time to make the tough changes and get behind the team. It won’t be easy but I’m determined to succeed and get us smiling again,
Thanks for your support,”
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