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Brett's Blog

Wednesday, February 14 2018

This week Brett again gives a typically forthright analysis of the performances against Farnborough and Chesham. It is so refreshing that Brett is not afraid to highlight our shortcomings but be constructive in his criticism as well. I am sure our supporters appreciate getting a view from within the dressing room that is anything but bland. His view on goalkeepers is very interesting!

Roy Izzard

This week's instalment!

So after making a semi-final on the Monday we go into Saturday's game full of confidence. But that lasted all of 15 minutes to the point we found ourselves 2-0 down to a very average side!! Fair play to Burkey and Parks for making changes early on. However as a player when you see the board go up 25-30 minutes into a game and nobody is injured it is panic stations! No one wants to get dragged off that early. But there was a tactical switch which saw Aussie Bruce (Kevin Byrne) and Lucas having to swallow their pride and take one for the team. It has never happened to me, and I can only imagine how I would take it, but fair play to both of them in not making a scene. Also in my opinion it worked. 

We suddenly looked a lot more solid and offered an attacking threat. Half time came and we were in the game (I thought so anyway). Burkey told us to get right at them in the second half as the next goal was crucial. We all listened intently and got back out there to give those Farnborough boys a good going over. In the 47th minute the goal came! 3-0 to Farnborough ... Jesus wept lads!!!! Mountain to climb. Our new keeper Rusty (James Russell) did not cover himself in glory for the third goal. A shanked free kick falls to their winger who runs down the line to lob it over Rusty's head. It was rock bottom ... at least I was hoping it was. We got one back with an exquisite finish .. cough cough!! However we couldn't get the second even with great chances for me, Connor and Chaz.

Defensively I reckon that was as bad as we have been  since Burkey took charge. He was not happy and let us all know. He prides himself on making us hard to beat, working tirelessly to stop the opposition being able to play and making them work hard for their goals. As a team we didn't offer anything up in any of these aspects. We had let him and Parks down, we let ourselves down and we had let the fans down. Rock Bottom... surely!!!

We went into Monday looking to turn things round. It was Chesham. Historically they were Hitchin's bogey team but we had done OK against them in the last few seasons so we could be optimistic. Chesham are up around the playoffs for a reason though. They are a good side. We knew we had to get right back to basics. We needed a  clean sheet. Muj (Michael Johnson) was back in goal. Now those that know me know that I'm very critical when it comes to goalkeepers. They are not actual footballers. They swan about in gloves and trousers getting looked after by the refs. They do their own training which is basically kicking the ball at each other in a goal. No running or drills. They do what they want. None of them can play & those that think they can can't. Now Muj finished last season very well and not even I could dismiss the part he played in getting us to the play-off final. However this season he seems to have been suffering from an almighty hangover. Not the Muj of last season and don't think I haven't made him aware of this! He gets told most weeks. He has huge potential and I don't want that being wasted. 

But as a team we have been struggling lately and we need our keeper to give us that confidence boost from the back. He wasn't happy at being dropped on Saturday, but it was the kick up his bum he needed. On Monday in a very evenly matched game he made one great save. But I expect that from him. That's never been in doubt. But you could hear him. He was sweeping up behind the back four. That makes a huge difference for us as a team. 

All 11 cogs need to be working in unison. That's the secret of our recent success.  If one part fails, the team fails. On Monday we avoided this.  It was not pretty but it's a lot better than getting beaten. We had a couple of chances. The centre half in goal made a decent save from a Webby header ... I say decent, I mean lucky! Connor had a great chance but sadly he has now settled into his role as defensive striker so couldn't beat the centre half keeper from 10 yards. Keep trying Connor mate. Fair play to Connor though, two man of the match awards to a striker who hasn't scored or made a goal is no mean feat. 

Nice to see Kav is back from Luton and playing in his actual position. I thought he was man of the match.  I also thought Hugo did very well. Strange name but nice lad. He appreciated me screaming at him for the first 15 minutes until he realised what I wanted him to do. You don't get that at MK Dons!!

For me on Monday we looked like the Hitchin of old. We worked bloody hard!!

Special mention this week to the ground staff. Well done for getting the games on and thanks to Lenny for letting us go out there. He hates us mucking his pitch up!!!

One final word for the week, can I just ask that we get big numbers up to the semi-final on Monday. Last season Burkey and Parks took some stick for fielding a weakened team in this competition and we went out. Well this season we are going for it so let us make it a decent night. Get behind us and hopefully we can give you another final.

Onwards and upwards.


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