Forget promotion says boss

Hastings United full-back Sam Cruttwell shapes up to deliver a cross during last weekend's defeat at home to Walton & Hersham. Picture courtesy Joe Knight

Hastings United full-back Sam Cruttwell shapes up to deliver a cross during last weekend's defeat at home to Walton & Hersham. Picture courtesy Joe Knight

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Hastings United manager Dom Di Paola has written off the football club’s chances of achieving its promotion ambitions this season.

The U’s are 16th in Ryman Football League Division One South and 11 points outside the play-off places having played 19 of their 46 matches.

Di Paola said: “There’s a massive difference between us and the teams at the top. They’re scoring a lot more goals and they’re not leaking them; we’ve only kept two clean sheets all season.

“If we go on a run now it would have to be amazing, but it’s not likely and I don’t think the mindset of the players is there to do that at the moment. That might change, but they’re living on one game at a time. If we’re on it, we’ll get a win. If we’re not completely on it from minute one, then we’re going to get done.”

Di Paola felt the performance in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at home to Walton & Hersham “wasn’t good enough” and wants to see some progression during the remainder of the campaign.

“There’s lots of things to try and sort out,” he continued. “I want to win more games and see some progression so that hopefully there’s something to build on for next season.

“There’s no point making excuses for the players; the fact is the team’s not good enough to get promoted. We’re not good enough as a squad at this stage. Teams that get promoted beat teams like Walton & Hersham.

“Supporters’ expectations are too high at the moment. Prior to us coming in we were 21st in the table and we’ve not been able to change everything in five weeks.

“On our day we’re not a bad side and we will beat some teams, but we’ve got one left-footed player in the whole squad, not a huge amount of pace throughout the side and a lack of numbers. There’s a whole host of things that we’re trying to address.

“Two or three wins might change things around, but it’s going to be a bit of a slow process. It seems like they’ve accepted a bit of mediocrity.”