Whitehawk return to league action on Saturday afternoon as they travel to high-flying Chatham Town. It’s a battle between the two promoted sides from last season, and we sat down with Shaun Saunders to gather his thoughts ahead of what promises to be a competitive affair.
How’s the mood in the camp ahead of Saturday’s clash?
“The mood’s been great all season to be fair. I think it’s important that the changing room is right, and this one is no exception. Everyone’s in good spirits! We trained on Tuesday night, and it was a really good session, really high tempo, and we’ll train tonight [Thursday].”
A difficult defeat at Chatham Town last season. Do you think you’re better equipped this time around?
“I thought we played really well there [Chatham Town] last season, and it was a difficult one to take because I think it was something like six minutes into stoppage time their penalty. I thought it was a really harsh one so we were disappointed but we played well, and I’ve got no doubt that come Saturday, we’ll be in the right frame of mind, and we’re really looking forward to the game.”
Without a game since last Wednesday, do you think that extra rest could give your side a bit of a boost?
“I hope so! I know from our point of view we had a month or so where we were playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday and training Thursdays. It was a tough month for us, and we picked up a few niggly injuries along the way. The break has allowed us to get a few back, we’ve had time to recover and recharge – we won’t know until after the game on Saturday how that bodes for us, but I like to think that our preparation has been really good. And hopefully we’ll bear the fruits of that on Saturday.”
Sat in 6th and still unbeaten in the league since the opening day of the season. How proud are you of this group?
“Yeah, massively! I think the team, the whole group: management team and the players, everybody has really gelled well together. I didn’t want to, but it was a bit of a rebuild in the summer. And it’s been a good start for us. We’re not getting carried away, we’re in a good place and we’re enjoying it. But I’m really proud of the lads, they’ve been fantastic right through summer. We’ve done nothing yet, and we’ll keep working hard and see where it takes us come the end.”