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Hendon are in a relegation dogfight, admits manager McCann

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 December 2016

Hendon boss Gary McCann. (Pic: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY)

Hendon boss Gary McCann. (Pic: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY)

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Hendon manager Gary McCann remains optimistic his side can turn around their current fortunes in the Premier Division, although he admits they have hit “rock bottom”.

The Greens are firmly embroiled in a relegation scrap and are just two points clear of fellow strugglers Harrow Borough – who they host at Silver Jubilee Park in a vital clash on Boxing Day.

And while McCann is convinced they can enjoy a far more productive second half of the season, he has conceded that the signs are worrying for his side as it stands, with Saturday’s 5-2 defeat at Needham Market their third loss in succession.

He said: “Let’s not beat around the bush, we are not in a good place at all at the minute. Our mental strength is particularly worrying, we’re lacking character and guile in this team.

“In the last three matches we have conceded early goals and not reacted well to them.

“After going 2-0 down against Needham we got ourselves back into it thanks to a brilliant strike from Karl Oliyide.

“However, we then conceded two goals in quick succession, and a third soon followed thereafter.

“Going into half-time at 5-2 was frankly embarrassing and unacceptable.

“In the dressing room I stressed to the players the importance of playing for the badge and personal pride and we did that in the second half, but we should have displayed that throughout the 90 minutes.”

The last 18 months have been nothing short of a disaster for the Greens, with the form they produced during their excellent 2014-15 campaign nothing more than a distant memory now.

And McCann admits that he has a real job on his hands to ensure his side do not fall through the relegation trapdoor come the end of April.

”We are most definitely in a relegation dogfight, it’s as simple as that,” McCann said frankly.

“We need everyone pulling in the same direction and I haven’t had that from some of the players and I cannot accept that.

“When we lost to Kingstonian a few weeks ago, I thought we had reached rock bottom, but it was a good place from which to build.

“There were the very good results at Leiston and Bognor Regis, but now we have gone backwards, and the (4-0) result against Grays Athletic was the lowest ebb we’ve been at for a long time.”

McCann added: “Against Needham it clearly didn’t get any better. I have stressed the importance of togetherness as a unit.

“We don’t have it, but we have to get this togetherness very quickly.

“We’ve had to call up a couple of players from the youth team and given them some playing time.

“It will certainly help when many of our long-term absentees return and there are three who are very nearly fit.

“They will bring a lot of that mental strength and toughness, which will be crucial to our future.

“One of the things we [as backroom staff] continue to stress is that we must remain positive. I know we can turn this situation around.”


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