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Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin on the 2-2 draw at Harrogate Town

Hakan Hayrettin feels it’s important Maidstone stay afloat for as long as possible in the National League.

It would have been game over had the Stones lost at Harrogate and results elsewhere gone against them.

But a decent display in a 2-2 draw, coupled with Dagenham’s defeat and dropped points for Dover, mean the Stones fight on despite dropping to the foot of the table.

Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Andy Jones

Head coach Hayrettin knows what’s coming but no one wants to go down with six games to play.

He said: “For me, it means something to keep it going as long as we can.

“I’ve been relegated and it’s not a nice feeling.

“It’s how you react to it, how you bounce back from it and obviously a lot of thought has to go into the recruitment in the summer, which is vitally important.

“It’s going to be a busy summer, we know that, and we have to work hard, depending who’s going to stay and who we’re going to get in, but if we’d put these performances in during the course of the season this club wouldn’t be where it is.

“I’ve only been here just over two months but that’s the frustrating part for me.”

Maidstone were six points adrift when Hayrettin and John Still took charge and the gap soon grew.

The pair always stressed it was a rebuilding job but didn’t write off this season.

Hayrettin said: “We thought we had a chance.

“We thought we might have something there to work with, and the boys have been fantastic, take nothing away from the boys.

Justin Amaluzor scored two great goals for the Stones Picture: Sean Aidan
Justin Amaluzor scored two great goals for the Stones Picture: Sean Aidan

“You have to realise as well, for a group of players that have had three difference voices, I think it’s over 60 players in one season, it’s quite difficult to get a settled momentum.

“Sometimes, different people have got different views and whatever, but with the reputation we had and what we brought to the table, we thought maybe we could sustain something.

“You speak to the players, they’ll say we’re playing a lot better than what we did, and we are.

“We’re in games, we’re not getting smashed every week apart from the Solihull game, and today I thought we could have won it.”

Justin Amaluzor scored twice as Maidstone hit back from a goal down to lead 2-1 at Harrogate, with Town salvaging a point from the penalty spot.

Hayrettin, in sole charge with Still on a scouting trip, was pleased with the performance.

He said: “We were good value for money. I think we played really well, with and without the ball.

“It’s two great goals from Justin, good play for the second goal, and if we don’t give that penalty away we win the game.

“We started brighter than them and the crowd were getting a bit restless.

“We identified if we could keep our shape and play with discipline when we haven’t got the ball that we’re going to be hard to break down.

“The crowd got frustrated, and that’s a good part of play that we need to do more often.”

Read the match report from Maidstone's 2-2 draw at Harrogate

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