Hastings boss hails ‘best dressing room I’ve ever been involved in’

Dayshonne Golding on the ball during Hastings United's 3-2 win away to Sevenoaks Town on Monday. Picture courtesy Scott White
Dayshonne Golding on the ball during Hastings United's 3-2 win away to Sevenoaks Town on Monday. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings United manager Chris Agutter praised ‘the best dressing room I’ve ever been involved in’ after the football club completed a winning August.

Agutter’s side has won all of its first three Bostik League South East Division matches to sit third in the fledgling table, as well as an FA Cup tie.

He said: “It’s the best dressing room I’ve ever been involved in, even going back to the Sidley days. The dressing room’s unbelievable and I think you can always tell an awful lot with goal celebrations.

“Everyone’s very much together. We all have the same sort of aim and everyone’s pushing in the right direction.

See also: * Hastings boss praises in-form strike ace
* Hastings net third consecutive 3-2 win
* Late strike gives Hastings FA Cup victory

“The way we’re winning at the moment is brilliant. We’re not having to struggle, but we’re coming through difficult moments and we’re showing when it gets tough, we rise to it. But no-one’s thinking for a moment we’re the finished article.

“It’s a long season and nothing’s been done, but I’m really pleased with how we’re looking. I genuinely think we’re 50% to what we can be. We’re not quite where we want to be, but we’re winning games.”

Sam Cruttwell skips away from a Sevenoaks Town opponent. Picture courtesy Scott White

Sam Cruttwell skips away from a Sevenoaks Town opponent. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings are the highest scorers in their division with 11 league goals, plus three in the cup, and they’ve come from behind at some stage in every game to emerge victorious.

“It’s the reverse of pre-season,” Agutter continued. “I thought we looked solid and weren’t carrying a great deal of goal threat in pre-season. But now every time we go forward we look like we’re going to score. We’ve gone back to the formation we played last season, but I think players are a bit more comfortable with it.”

Hastings are one of six clubs to have won their opening three league games and they will entertain another of them, Phoenix Sports, today (Saturday). Both teams have a +6 goal difference, with Hastings having scored and conceded two more than the Londoners.

“I think VCD (who Hastings beat 3-2 in the FA Cup last weekend) are a good side and I’m anticipating a similar sort of test from Phoenix,” Agutter went on. “They will be very similar in terms of style and approach.

“I back us against anyone at The Pilot Field. I think 90% of our goals have come in the last 20 minutes. If it’s tight, there’s only one winner. Every single game we’ve got late winners and that says an awful lot.

“Every game’s tough and I’m not looking past the next game. We treat every game as a project in its own right. We’ll put together a gameplan and put together the right type of squad to try and win that game.”

With Sam Adams back from holiday, Jack Dixon fully fit, and Sinnkaye Christie and Antonio Walker available again, Agutter faces some tough selection decisions for a match which will kick-off at 3pm.

“They’re a great bunch and they get on with it,” he added. “One or two players might have to get used to it, but I like the way we work in terms of we look at the opposition in great detail rather than think ‘that was a winning team, stick with that’.

“We used the whole squad apart from two players over the (Bank Holiday) weekend, which says an awful lot. I’m really pleased with the squad and being able to spread the game time to keep everyone involved.”

Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (www.localsubsplus.co.uk)