“The performances have been better than the results show”
The match preview Q&A series continues, as Mark Hamill discusses his team Sutton United:
Hi Mark thanks for replying to us! Before we discuss your team, tell us a bit about yourself and how long have you supported Sutton United?
I’m Mark Hamill, 53 years old, have got my own glass and glazing business, and been following Sutton United for many years, but more regularly over the last 5 years home and away.
You sit in the relegation places, what’s been going wrong this season so far?
We had a lot of changes at the club at end of last season and a new manager Matt Gray came in and brought in 6/7 new young players that the club needed really, to replace the older players going out or who were released.
We started the season pretty well in August, a good first day win at Hartlepool, then Boreham Wood and a couple of draws, we were looking quite positive but have lost our way over last few months. We have been playing well and creating chances, but haven’t been able to score the goals and that is the major factor.
Are you optimistic of the team climbing the table to safety?
A lot of us who go every week are confident we can get out of this recent bad run, we just need that little piece of luck to go our way.
How’s your recent form been, are the performances better than the results suggest?
The performances have been better than the results show, and you can’t fault the effort of the players and staff at all.
The new players who have come in have shown they can play at this level, but with such a small squad and budget that we have compared to some ex-football league clubs in this league, I think having 2 fixtures in a week has taken the toll in recent weeks with some players having to play with an injury or not 100% fit.
Who are your key players and why?
Our captain Jamie Collins has been a big miss in the last month or so, but we still have key players like Harry Beautyman, who’s goals from midfield are important for us. We have good young strikers in Tommy Wright and Aaron Jarvis who just need a goal to get them going, and also Jon Barden is a key man in midfield for us.
Who’s the man in charge and what tactics does he like to employ?
Matt Gray believes in these players and likes us to attack with two wingers and get as many crosses into the opposition’s box to cause problems. He is very insistent on the team keeping a good shape and fitness level throughout the game.
What’s your away following like and will you bring many down to Plainmoor?
We have a hardcore away following of around 50-70 fans who go every away game and then when we play a big club like yourselves, we will probably bring around a 100 or even more as it’s a weekend away for us as well. The Sutton CoCs will have a big contingent at the game this week.
Which opposition teams/players have impressed you most this season?
I’ve been impressed with a couple of teams this year. Dagenham who have Balanta and Solihull, but of course we haven’t played all the teams yet.
Who owns the club and what are their plans for the future?
Our Chairman Bruce Elliott is Sutton through and through and has been at the club for many years, and with his other directors and all the volunteers at the club we are trying to establish ourselves as a National League club. But with the cost of everything connected to this league it is very hard for a team like Sutton United, as we do not have a major backer. So we the fans are thankful for everything that Bruce and the board do for the club.
And finally, give us a match prediction for Saturday afternoon?
I’m hoping if we carry on the way we have been playing in the last few weeks, we can get a good result at Torquay or at least a draw, but you never know in football. Whatever the result we will support the team through good and bad.
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