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Hythe Town boss Clive Cook still upbeat despite views of bookies and pundits

Clive Cook says he is perfectly happy for Hythe to be written off as promotion challengers on the eve of the new Bostik South season.

Town lost in the play-offs a little over a year ago but fell just four points short of a return last season, despite having spent much of the first half of the season flirting with top-spot.

Despite Craig Cloke and keeper Joe Mant moving on, Cook has strengthened his ranks this summer ready for another assault on promotion, however, he said: “A lot of people have been writing us off.

Clive Cook Picture: John Westhrop
Clive Cook Picture: John Westhrop

“I’ve seen predictions on websites and only a couple of people seem to think we’ll be in that top-five.

“I don’t mind that at all. I’m quite happy for people to think that.

“I don’t bet but we’re 16/1 for the title and that’s OK by me, one or two people might be having a little bet at that price.”

The Cannons host Walton Casuals on Saturday (3pm) before a Wednesday night trip to Dartford to face groundsharers Thamesmead (7.45pm).

Cook said: “It’s always nice to win your first game. It gives you real confidence and it’s good to get points on the board quickly but the results in your first four or five games don’t really mean anything as far as the season goes.

“It’s going to be a hard nine months but we’re looking forward to it and we’re ready to go.

Pre-season has been a bit mixed but we’ve got an awful lot out of it.”

Town’s preparations ended on a low note as they allowed a 4-1 lead to slip to a 5-4 defeat at home to Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday.

Cook said: “We were brilliant for 70 minutes and then we had a messy last 20.

“I don’t know what happened. We made some changes and sometimes strange things happen in pre-season.”

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