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Hendon’s Gary McCann keeping positive despite tough week

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 March 2017

Hendon manager Gary McCann. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

Hendon manager Gary McCann. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

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Hendon manager Gary McCann is staying positive despite two disappointments in the week.

Hendon's Marcel Barrington. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHYHendon's Marcel Barrington. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

A 4-1 loss at Billericay Town leaves Hendon entrenched in the Ryman League Premier Division relegation dogfight, second from bottom and tied on the same number of points as basement club Grays Athletic.

They are four points away from safety with nine games to play.

And away from their league troubles they came close to upsetting Vanarama National League South side Wealdstone in the Middlesex Senior Cup last Tuesday, only to suffer heartbreak on penalties.

But the Greens’ boss is keeping chipper ahead of the vital run-in.

He said: “[Saturday] was not a game we deserved to lose at all, let alone by 4–1. But how many times have I said recently that the performance merited one or three points but we ended up with none?

“It has been the story of our season. The defence did well in dealing with most of what Billericay did from open play, but we have not defended set plays well enough, especially the second phases. Most set-play goals don’t come from the first phase, but we have to be much better in dealing with these second phases.

“For the first 10 or so minutes, I thought we were excellent and could have been in front. But then, from their first real attack, they scored and it knocked us back.

“I am continuing to work on all aspects of our game, but especially defensively. But with all the new faces in the team they have got to get to know everyone very quickly and have no period of bedding in.”

Tuesday’s cup defeat, while disappointing, also gave McCann cause for optimism.

“I thought we played really well against a team in the league above us,” he said. “They were at near full strength and it was not until the last five minutes that they really caused us problems.

“In the first half, in particular, I thought we dominated and probably should have been ahead. The move that led to Sam Murphy shooting over the bar was exceptional and it is disappointing that he didn’t force the goalkeeper to make a save.

“For most of the game you would not have known which team was in the National League South and which was struggling in the Ryman Premier and it speaks volumes for the quality of our performance.”

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