Date: 13th July 2014 at 7:58pm
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Manager Neal Ardley wasn’t a happy man at full time in our pre season friendly loss to Margate.

Speaking to the Official Site following the three nil defeat, the gaffer refused to make excuses admitting that we got exactly what we deserved over the course of 90 minutes, and with Chelsea up next, he knows we need a far better mentality, intensity and attitude moving forward.

‘It’s not just about fitness because we wanted to win the game and we did not come here just to have a little run out. You want your pre season games to be competitive and in the second half there were lots of positives. We looked a threat and the players raised their levels because of the first half. Matt Tubbs has great movement and he’s always anticipating where the ball might drop for him. He has great experience, but there’s nothing more I’m going to learn about him from one game that I didn’t already know.’

With Tubbs clearly being one of the bright positives that our manager could take, the contrast of the performance in each half won’t have been lost on him given comments he made relating to consistency and attitude last season, as clearly this season he wants great improvement because he wants us to be pushing for promotion, and a showing like that won’t get us there.

‘All round we have to be better and we know that. We conceded sloppy goals and two of them were car crashes. We have to make sure we cut that our of our game in terms of our decision making. We have to work harder and play with more intensity and energy. The first 55 minutes was particularly poor. They out rans us, out thought us and anticipated a lot of the second balls.’

Of course they always say that a manager learns more about his team from a loss, and if there is a positive from that, at least it has come at this stage where things can be worked on and improved on before we kick off the campaign properly, but it’s certainly not the start that anyone wanted or expected.

One thing the gaffer does comment on though is so far in pre season we have been working mainly on endurance and stamina as we get fitness levels back up to where they should be, and having now been back for two odd weeks, next week we begin more work with formations, tactics and importantly, intensity, so it has come as a reminder that our efforts really need to go in that direction now and he’s demanding that the team raise their levels far far more as we build up to the next friendly.

‘It will be a great game for the club against Chelsea, but I will not be looking forward to it if we play like we did for an hour today. Hopefully, if we can have a good week in training and take our intense work to the first level then we will put in a better performance. We were expected to win, but we were well beaten. Next week we are not expected to win, and maybe we can turn that around, which is what we will be looking to do.’

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