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Maidstone United midfielder Michael Phillips opens up on the challenge of working with three managers in one season

Michael Phillips believes the turnover of managers is a big factor in Maidstone's league position.

The Stones are on their third boss this season with John Still following Jay Saunders and Harry Wheeler.

Midfielder Phillips rates all three but feels chopping and changing hasn't helped with the club second-bottom and staring at National League relegation.

John Still is Maidstone's third boss in a difficult season Picture: Andy Jones
John Still is Maidstone's third boss in a difficult season Picture: Andy Jones

Phillips said: "We have to look at ourselves - I can’t point fingers - but it doesn’t help when you have three managers in a season.

"All three managers have been good - I’m not saying they haven’t - but it doesn’t help players.

"Managers come in and bring players in and the chemistry changes because you’re bringing in new players and a different playing style.

"We’ve had all sorts of formations this season.

"If you look at the higher teams they’ve stuck to one formation.

"Look at Eastleigh, I think they’ve been playing 3-5-2 all season, they’ve got the hang of it, they’re solid at it and they're where they are right now.

"They’re fighting for promotion because they’ve got a formation that they’ve settled on.

"We’re trying to sort out a 4-3-3 so once we get the hang of it, which we are, we can build a chemistry and relationship with the players and we’ve got a squad we can stick with for the last nine games."

Phillips says the players are learning Still's methods and he's not giving up on survival.

He added: "In training he’s getting the message across every single day he’s in, what he wants, what midfielders have to do, what the strikers have to do, what everyone’s jobs are.

"He keeps telling us until we get the message.

Michael Phillips receives treatment at Eastleigh Picture: Steve Terrell
Michael Phillips receives treatment at Eastleigh Picture: Steve Terrell

"We just have to be much better at it and be consistent.

"I know it's hard but everyone needs to stick together, the fans, the whole club.

"Everyone just has to believe.

"If we all believe, we can get out of it."

Phillips is hoping a gashed ankle, sustained at Eastleigh, heals in time to face Wrexham this Saturday.

The Racecourse was the scene of his first Stones start a year ago and he'd love to go back.

He said: "Wrexham was my debut this time last year.

"We lost 1-0 but I had a good game. It's a good stadium and it brings back memories.

"Hopefully I'll be OK. Eastleigh's doctor said it could be hurting for a few days but hopefully I can train before Friday and be fit for Saturday.

"I went into a 50:50 and the guy studded me and caught me on my ankle and I have a big gash and swelling a little bit higher up.

"I tried to carry on but I couldn't change direction and I didn't want to let the team down."

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