Saunders reflects on first six weeks
Saunders reflects on first six weeks

As promotion chasing Merstham arrive at Hartsdown Park this weekend, Margate “new” boss Jay Saunders has been reflecting on his first six weeks in the Thanet hot-seat.Talking to KSN this week, Saunders told us, “Its gone very quickly considering the length of time I was out of the game,” he admitted. “It’s flown by and so it must have been enjoyable.  When the club approached me the role was to ensure that they were playing BOSTIK Premier football next year.  They thought for one reason or another with Steve Brown left things hadn’t gone well and it was an important period so that the talk was always to keep the Club at the same level for next season.  We’ve done that – well may one more win and we’ll be very pushed to go down.  But for us now that we’re there, its been a case of lets see if we can catch teams.  Kingstonian were a benchmark for that as they were five points in front of us and yet we’ve pulled them in already!  Its always been to keep the side up this year and then have a chat about next year.  I suppose that’s a conversation that we’ll have when we’re mathematically safe…”

“I think we’ll have to be unlucky to go down from this position but we’re still going to be focused on fifty points. You never say that they teams below us wont get the points but I’ve been in the game long enough!  So we’ll just try and get as many wins under our belts as we can and see how far we can go.  Ten points off the Play Offs is a big big ask but why not set a target to see how close we can get?”

Merstham though will face a tough task for the Gate as they arrive third in the BOSTIK Premier table. “They’re a very good side and are one of the best sides in the League – you’re not third at this stage of the season without being a decent side.  Hayden (Byrd) has had a lot of the boys with him for a while.  He’s got Fabio Saraiva who I had at Maidstone for a year or so who is a very good player, and are a team who on their day are very good to watch at going forward just you always think that you can nick goals against them.  And that was the same with Bognor – I thought we were excellent against them and so if we can repeat that who knows.”

“We’ve a few struggling for the weekend – Kadell Daniel has gone back to Dover which is a blow as he’s been excellent for us and will be a big loss.  Maybe we can look at it against when he’s back from international duty but he’s been excellent for us; Alex Flischer misses out through injury which is a shame as he was having a good little run with us – I think he’d played five games on the trot for the club for the first time;  Frannie Collin misses out; Connor Diamond serves the last game of his ban.  So, we’re missing some big players but we’re on a good run and everyone’s full of confidence – trainings been good and hopefully we’ll be OK!”