“That's something we want people to know, that we do play quite exciting, fast thinking, forward football. We're not going to sit back. We don't mind if they score one or two, we want to score four or five.”
Promising Partnership No 9 Scott Jones and No10 Dave Herbert
Picture: Tommy McMillan
With no game at the weekend due to FA Vase first round qualifying we caught up with coach Danny Potter to get his thoughts on how things have been going at the club.
You've brought some players in this season. What were you looking for in the players that have come into the squad?
We knew we needed a support striker for Scott Jones. Scott was so important to us last year, scoring so many goals. Dave Herbert is one of the best finishers in the league and we got the opportunity to have a chat with him in the summer. We told him our aspirations and what we wanted to do as a club and Dave bought into it. Dave's a really popular lad amongst the squad now. He's done brilliantly. He's settled in well and scored plenty of goals and got Player of the Month for August.
We've been fortunate to get Lorenzo Dolcetti back at the club again. Lorenzo was playing for Bognor as well last year and he did pre-season with them. He could arguably go to another club higher than us but Lorenzo is committed to Chichester. We re-signed George Way and he's been involved in every game so far this season in centre midfield. We've added other young players to the squad like Fuzz, who is starting at the university in Chichester in September and came to us from United Services in Portsmouth. Drew Smith and Zak Sharp have come to us, both lads that study at the university as well. Rob Hutchings joined from Wick. Rob is a very young, exciting player. He plays on the edge, which is great. He's got a really good attitude and his competitive side is one of a kind in our squad.
The message from Chichester wasn't really the amount of players we brought in but the amount of players we kept. A lot of our players could have gone to other clubs.
I think every other club in this league would like Josh Clack for instance, but Josh is happy at Chichester and he's played some of the best football he's done in years in the last season or so. Josh is now one of those players that looks at Chichester as his club and I think that's probably the bigger message we're going to send out rather than who we've signed, it's that players want to play for us and when they come to us they stay with us.
The season started with Jack Lee suspended. Did that have an impact on those first couple of games?
It did and I think that we missed a natural leader on the pitch. Jack was captain for us last year for many games. He's so inspirational in the changing room as well. He's a very vocal player. Other managers always comment on how loud our No5 is. He wears the armband with pride and I think that's what we missed for the first three games - someone that would talk to players, that would enthuse and motivate players, particularly when results weren't quite going our way. Since Jack's been back we've been a little bit more solid at the back but certainly we've been more focused on what we want to achieve and that is to win games. And Jack does bring that competitive nature to us.
What are your thoughts on August? How do you think the first month has panned out for the club?
I think anyone who has looked at our results and has watched us the last month or so would know that we're a very, very good team at home and a team that's struggled a little bit away from home. That's something that we are looking to address as well. Speaking about the most recent game, picking up a point away at Crawley, that's psychologically given us something now to work on. It wasn't the best result, it wasn't the best performance but it was important we didn't come away losing that game.
In the season opener away at Binfield we played ok in phases of the game. We lost 4-3 but we probably lost to a team we think we could have beaten if we'd played to our full potential. It was the same at Broadbridge Heath. Credit to both Binfield and Broadbridge Heath though for those first two games. On the day they were the better team and both sides deserved it, and we're not going to hide away from the truth. But one thing that we want to work on is looking after our away form as we move forward.
We were pleased with the home derby against Arundel - Dave Herbert's old club as well which made it a little more interesting for him. We won it in quite a comfortable fashion in the end. And if you look at some of the results, scoring five in every home game we've had other than the 4-1 win over Selsey is impressive. That's something we want people to know, that we do play quite exciting, fast thinking, forward football. We're not going to sit back. We don't mind if they score one or two, we want to score four or five. And that's the message that we give our players.
The form at Oaklands Park, is that something to do with your mentality or the way that you set up at home?
It's interesting because I think we've tried to set up the same way. We've worked on the formation and looked at it and, as anyone in football knows, a formation is so fluid, you can't put any formation down and say that's the formation you're playing in the whole game. It changes. But defensively we did look at one or two things early in the season. We're thinking that when we do get the ball and we deserve the ball we should retain it and look after it. We've done that in certain games where we are scoring goals because we've got some of the best offensive players in the SCFL. We've got players like Scott Jones and Dave Herbert, two of the best centre forwards in the league. We've got players like Josh Clack on the right hand side who will give any left back a nightmare in this league, and has done so far. We've got players like Kieran Hartley, like Rob Hutchings, like George Way, like Lorenzo Dolcetti and Dan Hegarty in more central midfield areas that do want the ball, that do want to play forward. So when we start to look at the team we've got it's quite exciting. We shouldn't be a team that's afraid to look after the ball because we do want it.
I know Miles has talked a bit recently about intensity and inconsistency. Those have been two things perhaps that have impacted in different ways on some of those games. How do you sustain consistency and start every game with the same level of intensity?
Intensity is so important, it's part of the make-up of our club. It's what Miles has wanted for the last couple of years, to work hard on and off the ball. It's Miles' way of play, to want to go and press the ball, to want the ball, to be hungry for the ball. To get the consistency of being intensive every game that's the difficulty and I actually think it's down to the attitude of the players and having the buy-in from the players because they're the same set of lads that go out most games. It's just quite a tight squad and everyone knows the way we like to play, everyone knows what their responsibilities are in the team but it's down to the attitude of the players. We can only take them so far but the minute they get on that pitch sometimes Miles will look at me and he can tell whether it's going to be a good day or a bad day and he knows very, very early in a game. But we've done well, we've got ourselves out of trouble a couple of times this year. We know we've got a bit of character to do that. When we start games well, and I hope when we start all games well, we will scare a few teams. We'll put quite a few goals in in the first half because we do know we finish games strongly and a lot of our goals have come in the second half this year. So that's something to work on.
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Updated 11:43 - 17 Sep 2017 by Ian Worden