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Losing to Dover Athletic hurt me, admits under-fire Andy Hessenthaler PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 November 2010
GILLINGHAM manager Andy Hessenthaler was in a bullish mood following his side’s 2-0 home defeat to his former club, Dover Athletic, yesterday, writes Stephen McCartney.

The struggling League Two outfit were dumped out of the FA Cup First Round by Martin Hayes’ heroes, courtesy of Adam Birchall’s 20th goal of the season and Luke I’Anson.

Graffiti was sprayed onto walls around Priestfield Stadium following their home defeat by Wycombe Wanderers ahead of the BATTLE OF KENT and Hessenthaler faces a backlash from supporters following yesterday’s loss to semi-professional footballers.

“I feel sorry for the chairman. He‘s coming under fire from the fans,” Hessenthaler told www.kentishfootball.co.uk  yesterday.

“He‘s been here 16 years and as he said in his programme notes, if someone else can come in and do better, then come on. 

“I‘m disappointed for him because he shouldn‘t take that criticism. We‘re responsible for today, the players and myself, not the chairman. From the day he‘s walked in, it‘s been a bit of a rollercoaster, but he‘s working as hard as anybody. 

“We understand the fans‘ frustration when things done go right, but we‘ve got to work hard now. The chairman knows how I feel about this football club, and he thinks he‘s got the right man. Whether we‘ve got the right players or not, we‘ll see, but the buck stops with me, the manager. 

“There‘s a challenge ahead, and he believes in me, so I‘m right up for this challenge and there‘s no way I‘m walking away from it.”

But after the performance, which Hessenthaler had described as “having no fire in our bellies, on FA Cup day of all times“, the disappointed boss said: “I‘ve said in there, I‘ve got to clear the decks. If that means putting them all on the transfer list, then we‘ll see how many clubs come in for our players. I bet there‘s not many.”

“Today hurt me. We need to get some proper characters into the football club, because it showed today. The players will go home tonight and will they sleep easily? I don‘t know. Will my management team and I? I doubt it because it hurt so much, and I wonder whether some players feel that.”

“The battle is on. We‘ve been looking to get players in, but maybe some are looking at the results at the moment and are wondering whether they want to come. We‘ve got to get the right people in and maybe one or two will come down. We‘ll keep searching for the right person, but there‘s some players who‘ve got to look themselves in the mirror and see whether they want to play for the football club or not. 

“I know I want to keep working here until I can turn this around. There‘s a virus in there and it‘s got to be taken away to bring success. I‘m not going to hide behind injures, we‘ve got loads of injured players and getting John (Nutter) sent off at the end, you lose another player, but we‘re here to be tested.”

Visit Gillingham‘s website: www.gillinghamfootballclub.com

Gillingham  v  Crewe Alexandra
Npower League Two
Saturday 13th November 2010
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Priestfield Stadium, Redfern Avenue, Gillingham, Kent ME7 4DD
Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 November 2010 )
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