“Ernie – Under the hat”, our pre-match interview with Sheppey United Manager Ernie Batten.
How was training this week after last weekend’s FA Cup win?
Very good, we trained twice this week, Tuesday and Thursday. We worked on some bits defensively and hopefully we see some improvements tomorrow but its a work in progress and we can measure it in the next few games.
Who is missing for tomorrow’s game against Rusthall?
We have a few injuries. Rob Saunders – Hamstring. Rob will be out for a few weeks.
Stuart King picked up a groin strain in training on Tuesday.
Hicham Akhazzan has an achilles strain. He felt it last Saturday and was unable to train this week.
Everyone else is fit and available.
Any new additions to the squad?
We have brought in Darren Cooper. He is a left sided player at Maidstone’s Academy.
Ross Pagett has joined Gravesham Borough on loan.
Aaron Jeffrey has joined Cray Valley PM. Aaron was struggling to get to training after work so we mutually agreed it would be better for him to join a club closer to where he lives.
What do you expect from Rusthall tomorrow?
Well they were promoted last season from the first division so I expect there is generally an excitement about the club so it will be tough. Also teams raise their game when coming to us because of the nice pitch, the setup and the fans here and we have to deal with that.
Ites fan favourite Andy Constable returns to The Havill Stadium tomorrow, what is your take on players celebrating a goal against their former clubs?
I know Andy has a special place for Sheppey. He is a proven goal scorer. He has scored goals everywhere he has gone and at different levels. Give him half a chance and he will put it away.
I’m not bothered if a former player celebrates a goal. It adds to the match, footballs an emotional game and you are buoyant if you succeed so why not.
Although if Andy scores a couple, I won’t be buying him a pint in the bar after!
Thanks Ernie – good luck tomorrow!