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Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders says his job comes into question after poor run

By Craig Tucker

Jay Saunders believes his job will be under threat if Maidstone’s poor run continues.

United have gone 13 National League games without a win and while Saunders feels let down by his players, he says the buck stops with him.

Saunders is part of the furniture at the Gallagher Stadium after seven years in charge, taking Maidstone to the top flight of non-league football with three promotions in four seasons.

Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Payton
Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Payton

But the manager still feels his job will be at risk if he doesn’t halt a slump that’s seen Maidstone drop to 16th place, eight points clear of the bottom four.

He said: “Obviously my job comes into question.

“You send out players you’ve got faith in and at the moment there’s players not doing a job for me, so something has to change.

“Listen, you lose games and it’s on my head and I fully appreciate that.

“However long I’ve been here, it doesn’t matter, I’m not winning games of football.

“That’s 13 games now, which is the worst run I’ve had since I’ve been a manager.

“It hurts me more than anyone else.

“It’s me that has to go home and bear the brunt.

“I need players that are going to go out there and do a job for me and at the moment I’m being let down by people. I can’t have that.

“Sooner or later, I’m sure you have to look at things and go, ‘Hang on, what’s going wrong?’ and I’m at the head of that because I’m the manager.”

Maidstone’s flying start to the season sparked play-off talk and although they’ve fallen away, it’s only their second year in the National League.

Securing a third season at this level should still represent success but Saunders said: “Listen, we made a rod for our own back because we went on a hell of a run earlier in the season and crept right up that table.

“I wasn’t silly enough to get carried away, I remember saying at the time we need to get to 50 points and once you’re safe in this league then you see where it takes you.

“That has to be the aim for us.

“That’s not because we’re not ambitious, I just think it’s where we’re at.

“Until we’re at a point where we don’t lose our best players or we can go and pick the ones we would like, I think that’s where we’re at.

“At the end of the day we have to stop this rot - we have to.

“You try everything. You don’t want spirits to get too low but you get to a point where you lose patience.”

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