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Herne Bay manager Ben Smith says his squad can get even better


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Ben Smith reckons there still is more to come from Herne Bay.

Smith’s side are in the Isthmian South East play-off places, and have games in hand on everyone above them, after they won 1-0 at leaders Haywards Heath last weekend.

Herne Bay manager Ben Smith says his side are yet to hit top gear. Picture: Chris Davey
Herne Bay manager Ben Smith says his side are yet to hit top gear. Picture: Chris Davey

Things don’t get any easier for Bay, though, who host third-placed VCD Athletic this Saturday.

Manager Smith was delighted with Herne Bay’s success at Hanbury Park, but thinks his side are still not at full tilt just yet.

He said: “We were respectful of what we were playing against, they are a good side. But we have got a lot of confidence in the players we have got.

“That mindset of flipping it around and making teams worry about us has served us well so far.

“I think there is more to come from us. We are probably at 65 or 70 per cent.

“It’s easy to say that when you win games but that’s the honest truth of how we as a management team and the players see it.

“But the hardest bit is getting that extra bit off them.”

Ryan Cooper scored Bay’s goal in their win at Haywards Heath.

Smith says he was pleased to see the defender get on the scoresheet - but he doesn’t mind who is finding the net.

He said: “He is one of the players that definitely goes under the radar.

"We have got three very good full-backs at the club in Parts (Jack Parter), Coops and Reion McFarlane. They give us a lot in both boxes.

"I was pleased to see Coops get a goal. He has run 60 yards to get on the end of it at the back post. That is just pure desire.

“As long as we are getting the goals, we don’t mind who gets them. I was having that conversation with Zak Ansah. We are going to have to share the goals around if we are going to do well this season.”

Bay have, however, lost the services of midfielder Bola Dawodu.

Dawodu had been recovering from a hand injury he sustained during celebrations as he watched a Euro 2020 match but, after his return to fitness, he has joined Faversham.

Smith said: “It’s a bit disappointing really that he has decided to move on.

"He has been injured for a long time through his own fault. He hasn’t had an opportunity to stake a claim for a place. Obviously, he knows a lot of people there. It’s no secret that a couple of them have been in his ear.

“I have a lot of time for Bola. He has done well for me - both at Herne Bay and Canterbury - so I cannot complain too much.

“At the end of the day, it’s football. Managers let players go all the time but he is not one I would have let go.”

Bay visit East Grinstead on Tuesday.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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