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Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm puzzled by focus on club's away form in National League South

Tonbridge’s wait for a National South away win was never an issue for manager Steve McKimm.

Angels picked up their first victory on the road with a 1-0 success at Braintree last Saturday, moving them four points clear of the bottom two.

Tonbridge's Rian Bray heads just wide against Braintree Picture: David Couldridge
Tonbridge's Rian Bray heads just wide against Braintree Picture: David Couldridge

William Johnson's own goal made the difference and McKimm said: “It’s been brought up in a couple of interviews but I’ve always dismissed it because it’s not an issue.

“It might be to some but not to me because if you’ve got enough points at the end of the season, you’ll stay up.

“It doesn’t matter where they come, whether it’s all home wins or all away.

“Yes, it could be a bit of a noose around the players’ necks when they’re not winning but I genuinely don’t think they let it affect them.

“We’ve got that away win now and we can look for more but the main thing is to get enough points to achieve our goal of staying up.

“That’s been our target from the outset and if we do stay up, it will be a massive achievement.

“If we continue our current vein of form we’ll be all right.

“It’s seven points out of nine, which has got us off the bottom of the table, and the players have got to take a lot of credit.

“There will be some bumpy roads, it’s how we come out of them, but the boys should enjoy this run we’re on because it’s an unforgiving league.”

McKimm has a knack of making shrewd mid-season signings.

Last season, Chinedu McKenzie, D’Sean Theobalds and Tom Derry helped Tonbridge to promotion and the team at Braintree featured five players who have joined since the start of the season.

Southend midfielder Henry Burnett is the latest recruit, joining Bilel Hinchiri, who is on loan from Dover, and made his debut at the weekend alongside young Crystal Palace loanee Josh Ajayi.

Christ Tiehi, Ben Greenhalgh and Jason Williams were the other additions involved.

“I said I was going to give the squad that got me up a chance,” said McKimm.

“I’m not saying they weren’t good enough – some of them probably didn’t get enough of a chance – but you get in situations where you need to play certain players.

“The ones who aren’t getting regular football want to move on and that opens spaces for others.

“It was the same last year. We had to get the recruitment right, and we did that with Tom Derry, D’Sean and Chin and our fortunes turned after Christmas.

“We’ve had to get it right this year, too, and the new additions have been fantastic.”

Tonbridge meet Hamptonat Longmead this Saturday.

Angels conceded a last-minute winner in the away game and also lost an FA Trophy replay to the Beavers.

McKimm said: “They’ve been our bogey side this season but they’re a very good side.

“Gary McCann and his staff have been about for years and know the ins and outs of football.

"He perhaps had a few players who weren’t performing but he changed it about, got the ones in he wanted and they’ve been on a great run.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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