New boss has unfinished business

Hastings United celebrate their winning goal during the 2-1 victory at Horsham on Wednesday night. Picture courtesy Joe Knight
Hastings United celebrate their winning goal during the 2-1 victory at Horsham on Wednesday night. Picture courtesy Joe Knight

Nigel Kane says he has unfinished business after embarking on his second stint as Hastings United manager.

Kane was appointed on Tuesday to succeed Dom Di Paola, who resigned on New Year’s Day, and got off to a good start with a 2-1 victory at Horsham on Wednesday.

Speaking to the club’s programme co-editor Liam Willis after that game, Kane said: “I feel that I’ve got unfinished business at the club. My first stint was relatively successful and I want this second stint to be even more successful.

“I’m not a miracle worker. Things don’t change overnight, but I’m determined to be successful this season and also moving forward.”

Kane is the only manager to have led United to promotion in the last decade having overseen the club’s Ryman Football League Division One South play-off success in 2007.

He left the club by mutual consent later that year, but returned as part of Terry White’s coaching team in February 2014 and was subsequently appointed to a new role as head of footballing development upon Di Paola’s arrival in October.

“I achieved it (promotion) in my first full season and I would like to think that this time we can achieve it in my first full season, next season,” continued Kane, whose side lies 18th at present. “I’ve told the players that I expect us to

finish in the top 10 this season and then aim for promotion next season.”

Kane will be assisted in the dugout by Mark Stapley, while John Masters will remain part of the backroom set-up and Ryan Light will be returning to the club as first team coach.

With the likes of Charlie Farmer and Kevin Keehan having left the club in the wake of Di Paola’s exit, United are a little light on playing numbers and Kane is working to get new faces on board.

“We need to strengthen the squad a little bit,” he went on. “I’ve spoken to one or two individuals already. We’ve got one or two coming down to play in the under-21 game on Monday at home (to Chatham Town) and one or two new faces coming to training next week.

“We’ve got to make ourselves a little bit fitter; that’s what we’ll be addressing in the forthcoming weeks.

“We’ve got to inject a winning mentality into the squad. If we concede a goal we become deflated very quickly. We need to keep believing that we can get something out of games.”

United’s last three permanent managers have lasted 16 months between them and Kane is naturally keen to bring some stability to the position.

“My understanding is this is a long-term appointment, not a short-term appointment,” added Kane. “It’s not a quick fix; I intend to be here for as long as the chairman wants me to be here for.”