After the goalless draw between VCD Athletic and Bury Town, Vickers manager, Keith McMahon, was in two minds as to whether it was a point won or two lost.
“Difficult really.” he said. “As the game panned on, I thought that when it started getting stretched I think that it could have been two lost. I thought that we lacked any quality in the last third. We got in some decent areas but I thought our final ball was very casual so in the end I think, against quite a large team, it might have been a point gained.”
McMahon played down the fact that his team are not 100% safe from relegation saying “We’ve not really been looking at that. That’s if everyone else wins..We’ve been putting the sides out to try and give people some minutes.
“If someone goes on a run, then fine. We’ve got Tilbury on Monday and it’s important we keep going. It’s only one defeat in nine for us as well so it’s not a bad run. We just need to keep going and see if we can pick two wins up.”
Over the course of the season, around 60 players have been used which is far from ideal when looking for stability. McMahon continues “It’s been a difficult season for us, up and down on the pitch through injuries and so on and I’ll be quite glad to see the back of it and we can build for next year but we’ve got a few youngsters in the squad that can play and looking forward to the last two games and see if we can get six points.
“We keep going on, I know other managers do, but our injuries have been ridiculous. At one point we had eleven first team players out injured. We’ve had major injuries of cruciates, we’ve had two broken collar bones, a complete detached hamstring, ankles, holes in legs, everyone’s had their fair share but we seem to have all of ours at once.
“We struggle to get bodies back. We’ve got no under 18s or reserves here so we’ve had to go out and find players. The last few weeks, we’ve shipped a few in and out, to try and keep us a little bit settled so we can build for next year.
Going out to find new players continually isn’t easy. “That’s my job unfortunately. We’ve brought players in like Siao Blackwood from Clapton, a couple of others from lower leagues, You go around doing your homework but we’ve brought some in, probably earlier than we’d planned to.
Looking beyond this season and on to 2017-18 he said “We’ve sat down and had a think about who we want to keep. Most of the youngsters are definite. That side there is very very young. We’ve got a lot of 19 and 20 year olds in there and it bodes well for the future if they play well. There are some good lads but they just need a little more experience and hopefully we can build on that.
Should players do well, inevitably they are noticed by clubs at a highr level. “We’ve had two nineteen year olds go and play for Conference sides this year. We lost Mekhi McLeod who ended up at Eastleigh and is now at Billericay and George Essuman who played Dover in the Kent Senior Trophy and they took him and put him on a contract.
“It’s difficult when you’ve got players who are only nineteen and people come in and take them off you but we’ve got a few others that we’ll try and keep hold of and if they push on to a higher level then all well and good but hopefully they can do that with us.”
Promising players appear to be the future for VCD and McMahon gave praise to some, saying “Young Victor (Zapata Caicdo) up front, it wasn’t his best game today, but he wasn’t getting a start for Phoenix and he’s come in and scored seven in six.”
“He’s had a couple of blanks since but he’s lively. Young Kojo (Awotwi), we’ve moved him into a wing back position and he’s been outstanding. Siao Blackwood in the middle of the park. They’re all youngsters that could do something.”
Four goalkeepers have been used this season but McMahon was not complaining about the tough situation. He said “Goalkeepers, we’ve had injuries with them. We took Michael Gooch from Cheshunt that’s his third game and he’s been excellent.
“Again, he was very good today. We needed him. Size wise they were huge against us. I don’t think that we’ve got a player over six foot and I think they only had three that weren’t and with the long throws, he’s done well today.”
On Easter Monday, the Vickers travel to Tilbury Town before finishing their season with a home game against Ware, kicking off at 15:00 next Saturday, 22nd April.
Picture supplied by Dave Budden.