Isthmian League

Saunders: “Every game’s a cup final”

Switching back to the league after Tuesday’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Horsham in the Velocity Cup, Whitehawk head to 2nd placed Ashford United looking to place pressure on the few teams that lie above, whilst hoping to continue their impressive unbeaten streak in the league. Manager Shaun Saunders was a happy man following the midweek triumph against higher opposition, stating: “I was very pleased. I thought we played very well and were in control of the game from start to finish so I was very pleased with the lads on Tuesday night.”

“I thought the performance – all bar the two goals we conceded, I thought we could have done a lot better. But that aside, they’re [Horsham] a very good side, it’s a tough place to go and the holders as well – yeah, it was a great night for us, one that we enjoyed for a couple of days but now we need to focus on the next one”, Saunders added.

Switching to the all important league, this is the Hawks’ sternest test yet as they journey to a side beaten at home just once in all competitions this season, and who have yet to lose in their last seven league matches. 

“I think every game we’ve put ourselves in a pressure pot environment. Every game’s a cup final so we have to deal with the pressures that come with that. I think, obviously, it’s a big game but no different to any other game. It’s so early in the season – nothing’s going to be won or lost tomorrow for both sides.”

“I expect both sides to be in the mix come the end of it but it would be great for us if we could go there and come away with a win. I’m sure Tommy [Warrilow] will be saying exactly the same to his boys but yeah, it’s always a tough place to go, they’re a very good side but it’s a game that we’re looking forward to.”

On trying to prepare for tomorrow on the back of an increased frequency in fixtures, the manager stated: “Well first and foremost we’ve got to be prepared to roll our sleeves up that’s for sure because they’re a strong side and we know that we’re going to have to work really hard to come away with a result but we’ve got to play very well tomorrow. We spoke about it last night, the players are all really looking forward to it as we all are so roll on Saturday.”

As we drift into November with the Hawks still unbeaten in 90 minutes all season long, the starting XI has begun to settle. When asked whether he has found his true starting line-up, Saunders responded: “Honestly, I feel that we’re very close to where I want us to be. The lads have done unbelievably and we’re very close but I still think it needs to be tweaked to where we want us to be but we’re very close to it.”

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