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Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst delighted with start to season but warns of bumpy road

Matt Longhurst hailed his ‘fantastic’ Ramsgate players after maximum points over the Bank Holiday weekend.

They beat Isthmian South East title favourites Hastings 3-2 on Saturday and followed up with a 3-0 win at Hythe on Monday.

Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst Picture: Ramsgate FC
Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst Picture: Ramsgate FC

Rams boss Longhurst believes the team are benefiting from a tough pre-season but warned there will be bumps in the road.

“I’m really pleased with the weekend, the players have been absolutely fantastic,” he said.

“Their work rate and desire and fitness levels have really been a testament to them.

“I think the tough pre-season has helped, the games against Spurs and Margate and Folkestone tested us without the ball which has enabled us to then play at a high tempo out of possession at our level.

“We wanted the players to be really good without the ball in the early stages of the season and gradually become better with it as the season progresses.

“I’m pleased for the supporters as well. Having not been able to watch football for so long, I’m glad the players have given them something to go away happy about.

“As a fan, the main thing you want to see is a committed team.

"I think so far the players have shown that but there’s a long way to go and football genuinely is a bumpy road at the beginning of the journey we are on, so I expect some tougher periods in the season.”

Ramsgate, third in the early table, are back in FA Cup action this weekend with a trip to Harrow Borough in the first qualifying round.

Longhurst said: “All in all, it’s been a great start but that’s all it is - a start.

“We have to now focus on the FA Cup against another top club and team from a higher level.

“The reminder to the players is clear - remember how hard you’re working to get these results, the levels must remain the same and then start to improve on the ball.”

Longhurst has credited Ramsgate’s senior players for their role in the team’s encouraging start.

The likes of Jamie Coyle have proved crucial in helping the younger lads along.

“The young players are growing into the season but I have to applaud the performance, character and guidance from the senior lads,” said Longhurst.

“Jamie Coyle, Lee Prescott, Jerald Aboagye and Jake McIntyre have been outstanding in terms of attitude and advice for the young ones, great role models.

“Coyle is the perfect example of how to do things the right way on and off the pitch. I can’t praise him highly enough.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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