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Sandmann Praises Gate Resolve
Margate Joint Manager Mike Sandmann praised his side’s battling display away at Lewes on Wednesday evening.
Despite late penalty drama, Margate secured a point at The Dripping Pan despite playing the final 20 minutes of the match with 10 men after injuries to Connor Dymond, Frannie Collin and Alex Flisher.
Speaking after the game, Sandmann said:
“If you had asked us before the game, we would have certainly taken a point. Lewes are a good side, in good form with a good position in the league. After a tough match on Saturday, the boys have put in a solid team performance and more than merited the point.”
“Going down to 10 after trying to make a couple of positive changes to get the three points, I think the players showed fantastic character and work ethic. They deserve credit for coming to a place like this against a team that are third in the league with a large home crowd and get the point and clean-sheet.”
Margate dominated the first-half and looked strong going into the second and Sandmann admitted he felt his team showed what they were capable of, far more convincingly than against league leaders Haringey.
“We know we have talented players in this group, for various reasons we haven’t kicked on as we would have liked this season. We had a meeting on Monday because things haven’t been going right and we haven’t been good enough as a group.”
“Tonight, the players showed real togetherness. We had the better chances and when we needed to, we threw bodies in the way of what they threw at us and the penalty save was a bit of justice for the shift they put in.”
With a 93rd minute penalty awarded against his team, Sandmann confessed he had thought luck was against his side, before Louis Wells stepped up to be Margate’s hero for the evening.
“It’s hard to say how frustrating it feels with the injuries. When you’re trying to be positive and show the faith and belief you have in your squad to push for the three points, to go down to 10 men meant it became difficult, but we defended well.”
“When you’re in the position we are, those little bits of luck are vital. People talk about luck in football, you have to earn your luck and the penalty save with the last kick of the game, I don’t think anyone can say we didn’t deserve that.”
Sandmann reserved praise for Wells whose homework prior to the game came into effect.
“I’m delighted for Louis. He’s had a great week with his partner giving birth on Monday evening and we had a chat before the game, and he mentioned he’d watch the player’s penalties and knew he goes down that side.”
“I think he was watching videos in the hospital while his partner was giving birth, so it was definitely worthwhile time spent!”
“Credit to Louis for that, those kind-of-details and that bit of extra work has paid off massively and I’m pleased for him and the team.”
Whilst The Gate carry a few more wounded bodies back to Kent than they arrived with, one massive positive was the display of James Rogers who slotted back into the starting eleven after four months out with ease.
“That is a really important positive from this evening. Having Rogo back is like a new signing and you can see what he brings to our team. To get through 90 minutes is a big plus for his rehabilitation and a huge plus for our squad.”
Attention now turns to Leatherhead’s visit to Hartsdown Park on Saturday afternoon. It’s another tough game and Sandmann anticipates a battle ahead.
“We need to clear our heads now and focus on Saturday. We’ve got some fresh injuries so we will be back down to a bare squad again, but we’ll give it our best shot.”
“If we do that between now and the end of the season, we’ll pick up more points than we lose. We need to get ourselves in a position where were looking up the table and not down. We’re the only ones who can do that and we’ll be continuing to do our best to achieve that.”
Thursday, 24 January 2019
By Charlotte Richardson