Watson: ‘We weren’t very good’
Watson: ‘We weren’t very good’

For a man whose side are just ninety minutes from the Final of a national competition, Cray Valley (PM) boss Kevin Watson wasn’t too happy following his sides first leg lead over Canterbury City in Sunday’s FA Vase.

“We weren’t very good, and I would have been aggrieved if I was them,” Watson told us after the game.  “There was absolutely nothing for us to celebrate in our performance or the result as I’ve always said it will go down to next week and so it will!”

It was a wild afternoon weather wise even if some of the football played wasn’t great.  Watson admitted, “those conditions weren’t forecast, were they?  We expected it to be OK – they were difficult, and we didn’t adapt to them at all.  Our keepers kept us in it a few times and they’ve had a few chances, but too many of our players performed anywhere near the standards that they’ve set themselves this season.  I don’t know if it was the occasion – a couple of them look a bit nervy.  I said in my programme notes that people wouldn’t resent paying their entry fee today but after that, some of them may well be aggrieved enough to ask for their money back – I would!”

“We weren’t slick today which is the most frustrating thing, so we’ll go away and digest the game and regroup.  It’s difficult talking off emotion – they know and they’re fully aware what they already know that they weren’t good enough.  Its difficult that I’ve had to go into the dressing room and be a bit negative – they have been times this year when we’ve lost and we’ve played OK, but its just about the result!”

“We’re not going to go into the Second Leg looking for a draw and that’s no disrespect to them – both sides tried to win today, and it will be the same next week and the better team over the 180 minutes will get through.  Were we the better side today?  Definitely not, but we will see after next week.  We need to improve otherwise we’ll be out of the competition – its not through lack of trying – these boys are trying but it was just a lack of quality in some areas.  They’re not the players that I’ve got in there – other teams maybe the expectations from the managers but they should be better than they were today and to be fair have been.  They set their own stool that they haven’t met today.  We are in front; we are ninety minutes from Wembley but I’m ungrateful isn’t the word – we won the tie and we’ve got a foot hold but as I’ve said before I take things for what they are – I take performances over results sometimes, this us a results game and in order to progress where we are at the club we look at performances and analyse them in order to win games.”

Cray keeper Andy Walker pulled a hamstring in the opening minutes of the game but in the end was to play a key role later on with some crucial saves.  “We’ll have to assess him and the position during the week as we didn’t have a reserve keeper on the bench, but he kept us in it at the end of the game which I think justified the decision to keep him on the pitch,” Watson said.  “It’s not an injury that he’s had before, and it did come in the first seconds of the game straight from kick off.  We’ve got a couple of other keepers on the bench, so we’ll see…”

Looking ahead to the second leg the Cray Valley boss concluded, “I think there’s a danger setting up like that especially at this level.  I think it breeds a negative mindset.  We’ve got nothing to celebrate – we wanted to get them straight into the dressing room after the game and get on with things again next week – there’s the old cliché that its “only” half-time and so I guess it, but I will be looking from certain improved things in the game.”