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Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin tells Saidou Khan he will decide when he's ready to play after midfielder declares himself fit on Twitter

Hakan Hayrettin reminded Saidou Khan who’s in charge after Maidstone’s win at Eastbourne.

Khan was named on the bench last night, following two months out with a knee injury, having declared himself fit over the weekend.

Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Steve Terrell

He’d spoken of his disappointment after missing out at Hungerford on Saturday and his desire to help the team.

But while he was back in the matchday squad at Eastbourne, the midfielder was an unused substitute.

“Saidou’s gone on Twitter and he’s declared himself fit because he believes he’s fit,” said Stones boss Hayrettin, whose side won 3-2.

“There’s a difference between being fit and being match fit.

“My job is to select a team that I think is worthy of getting three points.

“He’s been put on the bench today because he’s got good qualities, he’s one of our better passers of the ball and he’s a very, very good footballer.

“His time’s coming. He is close but it’s not up to him to decide when he's going to play, it’s down to the management.”

Maidstone came from a goal down to win 3-2 at Priory Lane, with Scott Rendell’s early second-half header earning a first win in six matches.

The Stones remain ninth in National South but are just a point outside the play-off places.

“We played a good, organised Eastbourne team who have got some really good players,” said Hayrettin.

“It was tough, we had to grind it out and that’s exactly what we did.

Maidstone United midfielder Saidou Khan Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone United midfielder Saidou Khan Picture: Steve Terrell

“Sometimes it’s not going to be pretty but I’m not taking away anything from the way we played.

“I thought we got it down and played in the right areas. Sometimes we had our backs against the wall and sometimes you’ve got to defend vigorously to get the result.”

Noah Chesmain set up Maidstone’s equaliser but was substituted before half-time having been given a tough time at left-back.

He took it well and the decision, along with a tactical switch at half-time, paid off.

Hayrettin said: “I took Noah off to make sure we were a little bit tighter at the back and really, if you look at it, I think we deserved to win.

“No one likes to get dragged because the opposition player is getting the better of them, but I thought it was the right decision for him, for the team, and I think he’ll come good again.”

As for the tactical switch, Hayrettin added: “I made a change in formation at half-time.

"I had one sitting in front of the back four to nullify the two players who kept on dropping in, the boy on loan from QPR kept in coming in from the right-hand side and dropping in midfield, and Greg Luer kept on dropping in as well.

“So I made that change to make sure we had a bit more protection and I think it worked, so that was good, and we scored at the right time.”

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