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Margate joint boss Mike Sandmann thinks Blues will be stronger in the second half of season

By Mark Stokes

Mike Sandmann believes Margate still have plenty of time to turn their season around after admitting the first few months at Hartsdown have been frustrating.

The 1-0 New Year's Day derby defeat at Folkestone, left the Blues lying in the bottom six having won just one of their last eight Bostik Premier matches.

Their last game before that was on December 22 when they went down 3-1 at home to bottom club Whitehawk after taking an early lead.

Margate joint bosses Mike Sandmann, left, and Steve Brown Picture:Don Walker
Margate joint bosses Mike Sandmann, left, and Steve Brown Picture:Don Walker

Joint boss Sandmann admits the club would like to be higher in the table, but he still thinks they are capable of having a strong second half.

Sandmann, whose side host Worthing on Saturday, said: "I'm sure people look at it and think how the hell are Margate where they are, and we shouldn't be there.

"We definitely haven't done well enough at home (where they have won just twice in 11 attempts) and there have also been games where we've been in a good position and not gone on to take the points we should have but Steve (co manager Steve Brown) and I just have to take that on the chin.

"We always knew it was going to be a transitional year, it's about the bigger picture here.

"There was never any expectation on us to reach the play-offs but with the squad we had we'd assembled we were quietly confident of giving it a go.

"Unfortunately we've lost the likes of Alex Brown, Tom Wynter, Kane Haysman and James Rogers to long-term injuries and Alex Flisher also missed a large part of the season early on.

"It's been frustrating, but no league is won or lost in January and I think we'll be stronger in the second part of the season.

"We'd obviously like to be higher than we are but a couple of wins can change everything."

Sandmann says Flisher's fitness continues to improve with each week and he hopes experienced midfielder Rogers will be able to return within the next few weeks.

He explained: "We had really quite a tough training session on Thursday and Rogo came though most of it.

"He's raring to go although I think it will be another week or two before he's ready to play."

Sandmann says young striker Sid Sollis remains very much part of the club's plans despite being on loan at Sevenoaks while Tom Murphy, who was on loan from Dartford, has joined Margate's Bostik Premier rivals Tonbridge.

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