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Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin speaks about the pressure that came with their bad run


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Maidstone manager Hakan Hayrettin was feeling the heat before back-to-back victories.

After seven games without a win in league and cup, Hayrettin knew there were fans who wanted him sacked.

Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Chris Davey
Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Chris Davey

But things appear to be on the up, with Saturday’s battling 1-0 victory over Chippenham followed by a sparkling 3-2 success at in-form Ebbsfleet on Tuesday night.

Suddenly they’re back up to third in National League South, level on points with Fleet, and only three behind league leaders Dartford.

Hayrettin kept his dignity in a testing time, happy to take the flak if it meant protecting his players.

That doesn’t mean he wasn’t feeling the pressure of a poor run.

“I’ve been doing this job a long time, I’ve got rhinoceros skin, I’m used to it,” he said.

“It’s more that I’ve got to take it away from the players.

“Listen, I might lose my job here, I’ll get another later on because I’m good at my job.

“That’s how managers have to think, for sure. You hear rumours, you hear bits and pieces.

“This squad I’ve assembled is a good squad, I’ve always had faith in them.

“You’re going to get question marks all over the place but that’s football.

“I’ll be honest, not after Chippenham but before Chippenham I felt a bit of uneasiness, a malaise over the club.

Maidstone midfielder Dominic Odusanya in action during the 3-2 win at Ebbsfleet Steve Terrell
Maidstone midfielder Dominic Odusanya in action during the 3-2 win at Ebbsfleet Steve Terrell

“Like I said to the players, the crowd has got to stop affecting us.

“If we don’t score, the crowd think we’re going to lose, don’t let it bother you, keep doing what we said, and look at the performance against Ebbsfleet.

“The boys are playing for me and that’s the message they gave me after the game.

“You saw the way they got round me, because they don’t want me to leave, they don’t want me to go.”

Travelling fans were also singing Hayrettin’s name at full-time after Sam Corne’s double and a Joan Luque goal saw Maidstone win 3-2 at Stonebridge Road.

The manager has urged everyone to stick together as United fight for promotion.

“It was nice to hear that at the end, I appreciate it,” said Hayrettin.

“Let’s together ride the storm and come out the other end sailing all guns blazing.

“I’ve got two owners that I speak to all the time who have been fantastic, I’ve got a chief exec who’s backed me.

“There’s going to be big waves, low waves, it’s football, I know my job, I know what I’ve got to do.”

Maidstone host struggling Billericay in the FA Trophy second round this Saturday.

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