Hastings boss praises consistency over unbeaten run
Hastings United manager Chris Agutter praised the consistency of his players as the football club seeks to extend its unbeaten run to 10 league games.
Agutter’s young side has climbed up to 11th in Bostik League Division One South having won four and drawn five of its nine league matches since the start of last month.
“I’m really pleased with the consistency of our performance,” said Agutter, who believes his team is starting to perform for 90 minutes on a regular basis.
“We just need to keep going about our business and concentrate not necessarily on points but on performance, knowing that if we reach a level of performance, more often than not it will be enough to get the points on the board.”
Agutter was delighted with the way his team overturned a half time deficit to win 2-1 at home to Whyteleafe last weekend.
“It was the first time apart from Hassocks (in the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup) where we’ve come back from a goal down to win the game since I took over,” continued Agutter.
“I’m really pleased with our perseverance in terms of the way we played as well. We didn’t panic, kept going about our business and got our just rewards.
“The first half I think the perception was it was a non-event. In terms of clearcut chances we didn’t carve them open more than once or twice, but we were very patient and we forced them to run.
“When people question how productive that first half was, I think you only need to look at the last 10, 15 minutes when they were out on their feet. There was a lot of work that went unnoticed.”
Hastings will aim to extend their run of league games without defeat into double figures today (Saturday) when they travel to a South Park side which is one place and one point above them.
“We don’t have any fear for any team in the league,” said Agutter, whose side has garnered more points from its last six fixtures than leaders Lewes and second-placed Corinthian-Casuals.
“We’ve had them watched a couple of times. We know what they’re good at and what they’re going to try to do, but we also know what we’re good at. It’s got to be about us and if we’re at it, we will cause them a lot of problems.”
Agutter is hopeful that Sam Adams will shake off the neck problem which limited him to a brief substitute appearance against Whyteleafe.
Tom Vickers was expected to train on Wednesday having missed last weekend’s game with a knock picked up playing for the development squad.
Antonio Walker could well start today after a lively debut as a half time substitute against Whyteleafe.
“I thought he made a real difference when he came on and he definitely has a chance of starting,” said Agutter, who says the former AFC Wimbledon youngster is a bit wary of his hamstring as he hasn’t played much football lately.
“When you look at bringing players in, you always have to ask the question - are they better or different to what we’ve got? And he certainly adds something different to the team. He’s an out-and-out winger who gets at the full-back.”
Rhys Whyborne is likely to remain sidelined for a further 2-3 weeks. Agutter says that Sam Cole will come into first team contention once he has completed 90 minutes for the development squad, probably sooner rather than later.
With the development squad’s fixtures having dried up for the time being at least, Agutter is trying to arrange one or two friendlies for the players who need game time.