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Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm was so close to quitting

By Steve Tervet

Steve McKimm has revealed how close he came to quitting Tonbridge Angels earlier this season.

They won just one of 10 games either side of Christmas and McKimm felt his time at Longmead was up.

But players and board members convinced him to stay and now Tonbridge are on course for the Bostik Premier play-offs.

Tonbridge manager Steve McKimm Picture: Alan Langley
Tonbridge manager Steve McKimm Picture: Alan Langley

Their 4-0 win at Whitehawk on Saturday has left them third with six games to go.

McKimm, speaking on the KM Football Podcast, said: "We had a terrible November and December where we lost eight out of 10.

"At the end of December, I felt that was as far as I could go. I couldn't get a tune out of anyone even though they were trying their hardest.

"I spoke to the players after the Carshalton game. We'd lost 3-0 and it was hard. I felt I couldn't get any more out of them.

"They'd given me every ounce of effort and we were trying different things but I went into the changing-room and said 'over the next 48 hours I'm going to think about where I go because after your great start you don't deserve to miss out on an opportunity of play-offs and I can;t get a winning tune out of you'.

"They said 'we don't want you to go' and I appreciated that but it was a bad time.

"I spoke to the chairman straight after and told him what I'd said to the players.

"Within that 48 hours, I had the board members, the chairman and the players getting in touch with me.

"I had a good chat with my wife because at times, after games, I was working in the cab on a Saturday night not in a really good place.

"I couldn't carry it on because it ends up affecting the family life. She told me what the kids would think if I walked away and I decided I wasn't a quitter.

"Whatever happens, happens. As long as I've got the support of the chairman and my players; supporters will be for you and against you at times in the season but it's about what's in that dressing-room and around that club.

"The support I had was immense, from the family, and I decided to stick with it."

Tonbridge have now lost just one of their last 13 league games, winning nine on their way back into the top-five.

McKimm said: "Being 2-0 down at Brightlingsea on January 5, that could have been another defeat but the players turned it around (to draw 2-2) and could have won that game.

"They've gone from strength to strength and I couldn't be prouder of them.

"With six games to go, we've got a chance of the play-offs which we set out to do at the start of the season.

"We had a good start, a bad middle period and we're having a good finish but there's still six games to go to cement that place and who knows what will happen?"

Angels host Harlow on Saturday but they'll be without Tom Parkinson, who's been ruled out for the season with an ankle injury.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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