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Chris Lynch says Isthmian South East progress proves he was right to take Sittingbourne manager's job

Chris Lynch is glad he backed his own judgement and took the Sittingbourne job.

Lynch says he was warned off the position with Bourne in a relegation battle last January.

Sittingbourne manager Chris Lynch Picture: Chris Davey
Sittingbourne manager Chris Lynch Picture: Chris Davey

But he wasn’t put off and, almost a year later, the club are in a better place on and off the pitch.

Lynch said: “I was warned off by a few friends in football who said don’t go there, it will end your career, there’s no hope.

“But I was up for the challenge, I knew I could come in and change things.

“The players needed a bit of guidance and to believe in themselves and I did bring in a lot of players to help turn it around.

“What pleases me most is in just under a year there’s been a massive change but we’re still not the finished article.

“People turned round and said to me there’s no way anyone can transform that club.

“One of the things I heard was the players had a bit more say than they should have done and was it the players assisting to pick the team?

“I heard about issues with training, which aren’t fully resolved now, but we are making progress in every area of the club.

“Sittingbourne fans are the best in the league, without doubt, but fans can make or break or you.

“It can go wrong very quickly if you aren’t doing the business or if you’re not pleasing the fans.

"They turn up expecting to see heart and desire and some of the games I saw up there, I thought the team lacked that.”

Sittingbourne stayed 13th in Isthmian South East after Tuesday night’s 1-0 home defeat to league leaders Hastings.

They face another Sussex side this weekend when former Conference club Whitehawk visit Woodstock.

The Brickies still have a number of injury concerns – the likes of Tommie Fagg and Adam Woollcott have been struggling – with Lynch not afraid to blood young players in their place.

He said: “I’ve given 11 debuts to development squad players this year.

“We had two more at Whyteleafe last week, Will Holder, a 17-year-old left-back who’s small in stature but played well, and Sam Stace, who’s been scoring goals for fun.

“Whitehawk will be tough – they play good football – but a couple of wins and we can be in that top nine.

“The frustrating thing is we’ve lost games by the odd goals through our own mistakes.

“Had we resolved that we’d be in those play-off places right now.

“But when I look at where we were when I took over, joint-bottom with 17 points in mid-January to 13th with 18 points at the start of December, we’ve made a lot of progress.”

Sittingbourne visit Haywards Heath on Tuesday night.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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