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Joint boss John Embery says trust the key to Herne Bay's recent resurgence in Bostik South East

By Mark Stokes

John Embery believes trust has been the biggest single factor in Herne Bay’s remarkable transformation of fortunes.

Bay spent 12 games at the foot of Bostik South East, but Embery says neither he nor co-manager Jermaine Darlington ever lost belief in his young team’s ability.

That faith has been rewarded with a sequence of four wins in five matches, the most recent of which was Saturday’s eye-catching 4-1 home victory over second-placed Hastings.

Danny Leonard celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Herne Bay against Hastings on Saturday Picture: Chris Davey
Danny Leonard celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Herne Bay against Hastings on Saturday Picture: Chris Davey

The Sussex side had beaten Bay 5-0 in November and Embery says the result at Winch’s Field shows how far his team have come since then.

Embery said: “Outside of the club people were just looking at the results but Jermaine and I were looking at the bigger picture.

“We knew that we’d had some good performances but when you keep losing and confidence is low it’s hard, especially for young players.

“We realised it wasn’t worth screaming and shouting at them, it was about building their confidence, giving them the belief and the freedom to keep trying to do the right thing.

“We never lost faith in them, we just kept telling them ‘Whatever happens you’ll be fine’.

“We showed our trust in them and they trusted us.”

Embery admits the spine of the team, starting with keeper Simon Overland, is much stronger than earlier in the season and he says the atmosphere at training is excellent.

He added: “The buzz around the place at the moment is great and the boys are just so full of confidence.

“We played really well against Hastings, it was a very good performance from start to finish.

“The difference now is that the boys are playing with a smile on their faces. When you get that feeling that comes with winning, you want to keep getting it.”

Bay’s win lifted them up to 16th – just four points behind near-neighbours Whitstable – and

Embery says that the plan is to keep climbing.

He added: “We keep setting them little targets. Right now it’s can we overtake Whitstable? If we do that we’ll target the next team and then the next team after that.

“It’s small steps but we have said we need to be looking up the table.”

Bay are away to runaway leaders Cray on Saturday and Embery says his side fancy another upset.

Wanderers head the table by 11 points having only been beaten once in 22 games, but Embery said: “I suspect they’ll be more worried about us than we are about them because of the run we’re on.

“I think the Hastings result sent out a statement, it showed just how far we have turned things around.”

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