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Former Wolves defender George Elokobi on his role as Maidstone United caretaker manager

Maidstone caretaker boss George Elokobi will manage as he played - by giving everything for the cause.

Elokobi was placed in caretaker charge following Hakan Hayrettin’s sacking on Monday.

Former Maidstone defender George Elokobi is in caretaker charge at the Gallagher. Picture: Steve Terrell
Former Maidstone defender George Elokobi is in caretaker charge at the Gallagher. Picture: Steve Terrell

The ex-Wolves defender took his first training session on Tuesday and will be in the dugout when United go to Notts County in the FA Trophy Fourth Round on Sunday.

Whether or not it proves to be his only game, as United search for Hayrettin’s successor, nobody knows.

But the former Stones captain, who had a brief spell on Hayrettin’s coaching staff earlier this season, is determined to get a tune out of the players.

“We’ve got some good talent in this club,” said Elokobi, speaking to Stones TV, an interview that included a glowing tribute to Hayrettin and his assistant Terry Harris.

“I know these players, I’ve played with them, I’ve led these players.

“It’s very early days since this role came into play.

“I don’t know how long I’m going to be here. If I’m here for a day, I’m giving it 100% to make sure I can try and help these players.

“Firstly, change their mindset and try to create an environment where everyone is going to be playing to their best capacity, representing the best version of themselves every single day.

“So my role here is to try and help these players, give them a platform to play from.”

Elokobi said the players worked “incredibly hard” in training, adding the session was “all about them feeling free, playing technically, doing the right things on the ball and making sure they enjoy each other’s company”.

The 36-year-old is taking his coaching badges and works with the club’s academy.

The chance to manage has come sooner than expected but Elokobi, who lifted the National South title last season in his final year as a player, is ready.

“When I began taking my coaching badges I knew I had to take it one step at a time,” said Elokobi.

“This opportunity has come. I might look at it that it’s come too fast but I’ve been ready, I always back myself to give 100%, 110% in everything I do and I’m fully committed to helping this football club.

“I’ve been asked by the owners to step in to do this role, to play the role as caretaker manager.

“For how long that may last, I will give it my best shot and I can rest assured the players will be out there giving it their best as well.”

Elokobi knows Maidstone are big underdogs at Meadow Lane.

They’ve already lost there 3-0 in the National League this season but anything can happen in knockout football.

Elokobi said: “This is a cup game, we’d love to progress, so we’re going to go there to try and do the best we can as a team, give a good account of ourselves and enjoy the occasion because that’s the most important thing. It’s all about enjoyment."

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