Hastings boss is looking up

Taser Hassan on the ball for Hastings United during their 2-1 defeat at home to East Grinstead Town last weekend. Picture courtesy Angela Brinkhurst
Taser Hassan on the ball for Hastings United during their 2-1 defeat at home to East Grinstead Town last weekend. Picture courtesy Angela Brinkhurst

Hastings United Football Club manager Nigel Kane is looking up the league table rather than over his shoulder.

The U’s are 19th in Ryman Division One South, but Kane is focusing on overhauling the teams above as opposed to staying ahead of those below.

He said: “We still remain only seven points off 10th place. We need to aim to finish in the top 10; I still believe that’s within our compass.

“We’ve got 17 games to go and I’d like to think we can get 30 points from those 17 games.My focus is not on the teams below us and if we can get our strongest 11 on the pitch we’re a match for anybody.”

One of the first things Kane has done since succeeding Dom Di Paola last week was giving the captaincy to Sean Ray. Sam Adams had previously wore the armband.

“It was me that gave the captaincy to Sam Adams at Three Bridges (back in early October when Kane was in caretaker charge prior to Di Paola’s appointment),” Kane said. “He hasn’t done anything wrong and I spoke to him at length before I made the decision. He remains vice-captain.

“Razor (Ray) is a proper leader on the pitch, and I just think giving him that extra responsibility will send out the right signal to him and the rest of the squad.

“Razor was captain when I was last manager at Hastings and he skippered the side to promotion. I want 11 leaders on the pitch, not just one.”

Kane has also switched the dugouts at The Pilot Field essentially so that the home bench is nearer the linesman and has widened the pitch back to its original dimensions. “With the gameplan that I want to use, we need to use the width,” he added.

United are running a coach to the game at Worthing tomorrow (Saturday), leaving The Pilot Field at 12noon. Call David Russell on 07970 332270 or email davidrussell881@hotmail.co.uk to save a place.