Jason Hopkinson says he will give his Ringmer side a chance to ‘bed in’ but insisted that he will ultimately expect only the highest of standards from his young Caburn squad.
The new Blues boss saw his side go down to Lancing goals from ex-Blue Dom Shepheard (4 mins), Owen Callaghan (26), Charlie Romain (88) and Alex Howell (90+2) in a 4-0 defeat on Saturday.
“To be honest I was pleased in part. We’re starting with a relatively new squad, and very young, more importantly,” he said.
“We need to be harder to break down. We started off quite well but we showed a bit of a soft underbelly and we were very easy to break down.”
He said the problem was not so much an issue with the players’ technique but with some ‘poor decision-making’.
Hopkinson said preparation for this season weren’t helped by taking over the side when he did, in the middle of June. “Some of the players I wanted were committed elsewhere,” he explained.
“Then players were on holiday and I was on holiday myself earlier in the summer, so in real terms I only had about two weeks with the squad.
“It’s a work in progress,” he added. “As the season goes on we’ll improve. I’m having to play players who are nowhere near fit. They’re carrying excess weight – they know that.”
“We have got a good physio. We have Kim Eason (ex-Brighton & Hove Albion) working with them in that department.
“She’s absolutely fantastic, very professional,” he said.
“We’ll be fine. I will work them hard and get them organised. We will do everything right in terms of my part.
“But if you haven’t got the ingredients you can’t cook a three-course meal.”
Hopkinson said that two of the players were on holiday on Saturday and three more were just back from holiday.
“The players have got some time to bed in but then I really expect them to step up.
“They did that in part on Saturday. In possession it wasn’t too bad. But out of possession, it was.
“This season is all about consolidating and looking for a decent cup run – getting things right and understanding each other. Next two years (and then) the target is to push for Ryman League.”
Hopkinson was speaking ahead of Ringmer’s division 1 game away to Horsham YMCA on Tuesday night, which the Blues lost 2-1 thanks to goals from Dan Evans (2 mins) and Dave Brown (59). Ringmer’s goal came from Ben Watkinson a minute before time.
Ringmer travel to Dartford FC’s ground tomorrow to take on Greenwhich Borough in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup.
See this week’s Sussex Express, out today, for more comments from Jason Hopkinson.