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Maidstone United assistant manager Terry Harris addresses fans' criticism after Slough Town defeat

Assistant manager Terry Harris said he could understand the crowd’s frustration after Maidstone’s latest defeat.

A section of home fans called for boss Hakan Hayrettin to be sacked and there were boos at full-time following the 1-0 loss against Slough at the Gallagher Stadium yesterday.

Terry Harris and Hakan Hayrettin are determined to turn Maidstone's fortunes Picture: Steve Terrell
Terry Harris and Hakan Hayrettin are determined to turn Maidstone's fortunes Picture: Steve Terrell

The Stones’ unbeaten start to the season seems a distant memory, with four defeats in their last five league games dropping them to eighth place in a tight National South table.

They've also gone out of the FA Cup in that period, losing 3-0 at home Dartford in the third qualifying round.

“I totally understand where the crowd are coming from,” said Harris.

“You take the pats on the back when you do well and you take the criticism when it’s not going well.

“I totally understand, I’ve got no problem with that.

“Hopefully it doesn’t affect the players, certainly it doesn’t affect me or Hak.

“We take it on board, we know the crowd are not happy but they’ve just got to stay with us.

“Hak’s certainly hurt and disappointed with the results and nobody likes to hear that anyway (calls for his head).

“But, as we said, he takes the pats on the back when it goes well and he takes the criticism, that’s all managers at this level and any other level.

“You take the criticism as well as you take the plaudits.

"We could hear it, of course we could.

“We desperately, desperately want to do well for the club and we thought we had it, but we’ve hit a number of blips for a variety of reasons.

“At this moment in time, we’re not scoring and we’re conceding, so that tells you something.

“They’re the two things that go together so now we’re going to have to have a serious, serious look at it.”

There’s no magic wand to improve Maidstone’s form - it’s a case of working hard on the training ground.

That’s what John Still, the former Stones boss and mentor to both Hayrettin and Harris, would say.

“I’ve had bad times in my career, definitely,” said Harris.

“All you can do is go back to the drawing board on Tuesday when we’re back in, go back to working hard, try to keep the spirit up, not only from the staff’s viewpoint but the players’ viewpoint as well.

“We’ve got a tough game next week (Havant, away) but no tougher than the week after and the week after that.

“We’ve just got to keep working and doing what we believe in and hopefully it will turn.

“I think John would say, ‘OK, let’s work hard, back on the training ground,’ which is what we’ve been doing.

“I’m a mini-John, everything I know I’ve learnt off of him anyway really, so let's back on the training ground, get back to work and hopefully it will turn around.

“I always pick up the phone to him, all the time.”

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