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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley on their poor form in Bostik Premier

By Steve Tervet

Neil Cugley admits he could have used his squad better after Folkestone’s losing streak continued at the weekend.

Invicta went down 3-2 at Harlow, their fourth defeat in a row having also lost 2-1 at home to rock-bottom Worthing last Tuesday in Bostik Premier.

That run was in stark contrast to the eight straight league wins which preceded it.

Neil Cugley Picture: Gary Browne
Neil Cugley Picture: Gary Browne

The loss at Harlow was Invicta’s 32nd game in all competitions already this season.

Boss Cugley said: “We’ve got players who are not used to playing twice a week at this sort of pace. Maybe they’re a little bit tired, it’s difficult to say.

“I’ve tried a different formation and things like that, I’ve tried moaning at them, I’ve tried everything and maybe I might look back and think I could have used the squad system a little bit better.

“We’ve never had a big squad at Folkestone so I’m not used to leaving players out from one game to another and moving it around.

“You don’t realise with work and dashing down here, we’re tucked away a little bit and sometimes it might be a bit tiring for them, I don’t know.

“It’s something I’ll analyse later in the season, not now.”

Whatever the reason for Invicta’s slump, Cugley knows they need to come out of it quickly to stay in the play-off race.

He said: “I always said December was going to be important and now the next month becomes important.

“If we’re going to achieve something, we’ve got to start getting results and have a good January. It’s just about players performing. I use the word consistency a lot and that’s the difference, doing it week in, week out.

“Sometimes when you play at a lower standard you can get away with not being so consistent and still getting results but at this level, you get found out.

“I don’t think it’s lack of effort or fitness, we just need the players playing a bit
better.

“Certain players played to a certain standard in October and November and have not achieved it in December, that’s the truth of the matter.

“I don’t blame the players but it’s up to them to show what they can do. We can shout and say ‘do this’ or ‘do that’, play three or four at the back but the players have got to get back to the standard they were playing at.”

Folkestone's game at home to Thurrock on Tuesday night was postponed as the Essex side were unable to get to the ground due to traffic issues.

Ian Draycott is back from his honeymoon while Micheal Everitt (hamstring) may also feature at Needham Market on Saturday.

Folkestone then host Tonbridge Angels on Boxing Day (3pm).

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