Published: 05:00, 08 December 2021
New Hythe boss James Rogers says he’s a different man on the touchline.
The no-nonsense midfielder who “could lose my temper a bit” cuts a calmer figure in the dugout.
His approach seems to be working, with Rogers winning his first two games in charge and it would have been three but for Phoenix Sports’ 89th-minute equaliser on Saturday.
“I’m the polar opposite of how I am as a player,” said Rogers, 36. “On the pitch I get a bit heated and could lose my temper a bit, and I wear my heart on my sleeve.
“Since I’ve been on the touchline I try to encourage more than anything and be positive, and Wynts (assistant manager Tom Wynter) is the same.
“We don’t want to start hammering players and be managers people don’t want to play for.
“We’re trying to get that happy-medium, which is difficult because we’re still inexperienced in what we’re doing.
“Whether we’re doing it right I’ve no idea, but it seems to be working at the moment. We’re enjoying it, the boys are enjoying it and we’re not doing badly.
“Obviously there will be times when I lose my rag but for the the main part it’ll be nice and steady.”
Rogers has made good progress in the market, signing several promising young players.
Right-back Jack Mayhew has joined from Maidstone, while strikers Jack Nelson and Riley Alford have arrived Dover and County League side Ashford FC respectively.
He’s also brought teenage wing-back George Sibley back from Lordswood, where he was playing on dual-registration, and is hoping to land another defender this week.
“It’s going OK,” said Rogers. “We’re probably in a better place than I thought we’d be.
“Hopefully I can get this centre-back in as well and once me and Wynts are back from injuries, that will give us that experience we need.
“It’s all right directing from the touchline but there are games when I think we’ll need experience.”
Rogers has been impressed with his midfield three of Alex Brown, Jacob Gilbert and Charlie Webster, while sweeper Geroge Crimmen - one of former boss Steve Watt’s last signings - has also caught the eye.
But it’s arguably forward Jordan Sarfo who’s stolen the show after backing up his winner at Lancing with the opener in the 1-1 Isthmian South East draw with Phoenix.
“We’ve made him the main man up there,” said Rogers. “When he gets going defenders can’t stay with him and the goals are starting to come now.
“He’s had a good start under us and hopefully that continues.
“He was going to Canterbury on dual-reg as we took over and I stopped it straight away and assured him he was part of our plans and would get plenty of game time.”
Hythe go to Corinthian this Saturday in a reverse of the opening-day fixture, a game the Cannons lost 2-1.
Rogers knows what to expect.
He said: “They were quite direct and physical and there’s a couple of lads I know there, Kaka Dembele being one.
“If we set up how we have been and stick to what we want to do, there’s no reason why we can’t get a result.
“I want to carry on with the unbeaten start but there are no easy games - as Saturday proved.”