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Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley says his players should believe in themselves more


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Boss Neil Cugley thinks Folkestone’s players should have more belief in themselves.

Invicta are flying high in Isthmian Premier as they challenge for promotion, sit third and they had not suffered a defeat inside 90 minutes this season until last Monday when they lost 5-0 at Carshalton.

Kieron McCann, who also scored a hat-trick at Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday, firing home Invicta's first in the FA Trophy win over Faversham on Saturday. Picture: Randolph File
Kieron McCann, who also scored a hat-trick at Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday, firing home Invicta's first in the FA Trophy win over Faversham on Saturday. Picture: Randolph File

Folkestone bounced back on Saturday, beating Faversham 2-1 in the FA Trophy, although Cugley said he was not satisfied with his side’s performance.

Their reward is a second-round trip to Hartley Wintney, with their match against the Southern Premier South outfit scheduled for November 27.

Ahead of their return to league action at Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday, Invicta had taken only two points from their last three league fixtures.

Speaking after their win over Faversham, Cugley said he had hoped to have a new signing for their match against Wingate & Finchley which could give the club a lift.

That signing hadn't materialised in time, although Invicta still won 4-1.

Cugley said: "It might be time to have a little change around and see where we go.

“It seems very harsh. I just said to the players we have only lost one game this season inside 90 minutes.

“They should be confident. They should believe in themselves a lot more. I think the confidence levels have gone - I don’t know why! They shouldn’t have done.

“They should be proud of what they have done. They have done brilliantly to get us where we are but we have got to keep going.”

Kieron McCann, fresh from scoring his first goal of this season against Faversham, bagged a hat-trick while Scott Heard was also on target in the success against Wingate who had Jesse Armoo sent off.

Invicta impressed against National League Eastleigh across two matches in the FA Cup last month - drawing 3-3 at the Silverlake Stadium before they lost 3-2 after extra-time at Cheriton Road in the fourth qualifying round replay.

But ahead of their trip to the Maurice Rebak Stadium, Cugley said: “Since the Eastleigh games, we have not got up to that standard yet.

“We have got to get back up to that standard. We played really well in both games against Eastleigh.

“In the last four or five games, I don’t think we have been near that.

“We have got to get ourselves up to those standards again if we want to be challenging near the top.”

McCann, who recently returned from a knee injury, scored Folkestone’s first goal against Faversham before hitman David Smith got their second as they progressed in the FA Trophy and earned £3,000 in prize money for winning the first-round tie.

Cugley hopes midfielder Jordan Wright will be in contention for their top-four encounter at Lewes this Saturday.

Folkestone’s next home match will be the rearranged fixture against Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday, December 7.

Read more: All the latest sports news from Kent

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