Player-boss backs Whitehead release

Matt Whitehead. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Matt Whitehead. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray is fully supportive of the decision to release Matt Whitehead.

The full-back vented his anger at the club refusing to pay for him to have a scan on his injury after the Lowestoft Town game on Saturday.

“It was a club decision not an individual decision,” Ray explained. “And I was fully supportive of it because his conduct and his behaviour were totally unacceptable.

“We’re a non-league football club at the end of the day and we’re not prepared to pay out between £500 and £700 for players to have scans. I don’t think there’s hardly any non-league clubs that do it.

“Matt was a massive part of what we achieved in the FA Cup, but there’s not any one player that’s bigger than the club. We’re struggling for form and struggling for confidence, and we need everybody to be together.”

Two other players have left The Pilot Field this week. Mikel Suarez was recalled by Tonbridge Angels and Scott Manning returned to former club Lewes.

“We knew Mikel was only temporary anyway,” Ray went on. “I’m slightly disappointed to lose him as early as we did, but that’s credit to Mikel and how well he did.

“I’m disappointed to lose Scott Manning. From what I understand Lewes have made him a stupid offer which I wasn’t prepared to match, more out of principle than anything else. For the money Lewes were offering him I could probably get two players in.

“Scott did promise me that he would still play Tuesday night (in the League Cup semi-final at Concord Rangers) and unfortunately he let me down, but we’ve parted on good terms. He’s been a good lad to have about the place and I wish him all the best.”