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Whitstable Town manager Lloyd Blackman wants to ensure his team don’t finish their campaign with a whimper

Lloyd Blackman wants to ensure Whitstable Town don’t finish their season with a whimper, ahead of two big matches.

After a two-week break, the Oystermen will return to Isthmian South East action away to VCD Athletic this weekend.

Blackman’s team are now 10 points adrift of the play-off places but only three points separate seventh-placed Hythe and Phoenix Sports in 13th so a top-10 finish remains well within 12th-placed Whitstable’s grasp.

Whitstable manager Lloyd Blackman
Whitstable manager Lloyd Blackman

Town have also progressed into the last eight in the Kent Senior Cup and will hope to progress into the semi-final stages on Tuesday when they host league rivals Ramsgate.

But Whitstable boss Blackman said: “I don’t think we want to get ahead of ourselves.

“There are still 12 (league) games to go this season.

“After 87 minutes of the Cray Valley game (which Town eventually lost 4-3 on February 4), we were sitting two points off the play-offs. Then, all of a sudden, you can see how (quickly) things can change over the course of two weeks.

“As young as the players are and as good as things have been for them as we approach the middle of February and the last sprint, they need to make sure they are focused and finish things off the best way they can.

“You don’t get anything for playing well for two thirds of the season and then finishing with a whimper.

“That is something we will be demanding doesn’t happen.”

When Whitstable met VCD at the Belmont in October, the teams drew 1-1 with Aaron Millbank on target for the Oystermen.

Ahead of Town’s clash with the Vickers this weekend, Blackman said: “Keith (McMahon, VCD’s manager) has always had very, very tough sides to play against and they had a fantastic result against Herne Bay the other day (beating them 1-0 on Saturday).

“They are probably in the same sort of position as us.

“We want to try to finish the season as strongly as we can. There is that mini league in the middle of that table and that’s what we will be looking at.”

Gillingham, Dover and Dartford remain in the Kent Cup, alongside Whitstable, but Blackman will not be concentrating on their quarter-final tie against Matt Longhurst’s Rams until after their match against VCD.

“That will be a great fixture. But to be perfectly honest, I just want to take Saturday’s game first and we won’t look too far ahead,” said Blackman.

“We will be keeping focused on the game on Saturday and then we will roll on to Tuesday’s game afterwards.”

Liam Dickson (Achilles) remains Town’s only injury concern, although Blackman hopes the defender will be fit enough to be involved against VCD.

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