Hastings United must 'embrace' tough tests ahead of Haywards Heath Town clash

Hastings United manager Chris Agutter demanded his players to 'embrace' tough tests ahead of this Saturday's Isthmian South East encounter at Haywards Heath Town.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 8:30 am
Hastings United Football Club manager Chris Agutter. Photo by Scott White.

The U's have had a surprise week's rest following the postponement of Tuesday night's Velocity Trophy clash at Burgess Hill Town.

Instead, they head back into league action this Saturday with a trip to Mid-Sussex after all, facing 11th-placed Haywards Heath Town.

On his opponents, Agutter said: “They’re a very well organised team. They play similar to what we do, not that there’s any right or wrong about it, but it presents us with a certain type of test and if we’re to continue with a good record, we’ve got to meet those tests head on and embrace them.

“The opposition are quite physically imposing so I think it’ll be a similar type of challenge to the Sevenoaks game in terms of what they’ll try and do.”

United will be hoping to continue on from last Saturday’s FA Trophy preliminary round victory over Hythe Town which Agutter described as ‘probably the best we’ve played this season’.

He said: “It was a decent win against a decent side. (The result) probably didn’t reflect our dominance over the course of 90 minutes.

“In the first ten minutes (Hythe) were on the front foot and in control but eventually we got a foothold in the game. In some spells we were outstanding.”

Hastings have already played 14 games in all competitions this season but Agutter insisted this hasn't caused a problem. He added: “I want to win each and every game we go in to, irrelevant of the competition.

“It will give us an opportunity to give players minutes and keep them in good condition. We’ve got quite a small squad numbers wise but the gap between the best and weakest is pretty small.

“We’re not carrying anyone and everyone’s playing their part so it’s good. That continuity is only having a positive effect with the consistency of our results and performances.”

Hastings will be without both Lanre Azeez and Gary Elphick who find themselves absent after picking up injuries in their last two respective games.