Chapman: 'I really enjoy working at Burgess Hill and I am here to fight for it'

Ian Chapman
Ian Chapman
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Burgess Hill Town boss Ian Chapman knows his side are in a relegation battle, but he says he is here for the fight and will continue to the best for the football club.

Hillians made it three defeats on the trot with a 2-1 loss at Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday night.

This followed the 3-1 defeat at Folkestone and 6-0 hammering to Leiston.

These losses have left Chapman’s men in 19th place, just five points off the bottom.

Chapman said: “It’s a horrible term, but we are in a relegation battle.

“We were hoping this year to break into the top but now I think we are in a mini league of 12 teams at the bottom and we have got to try and get in the top half of that.

“Nothing changes, our club, we know we are in a bit of a pickle at the moment but there’s other clubs similar to us.

“That’s where we are at, we can’t hide from it.

“I really enjoy working at Burgess Hill and I am here to fight for it.

“Unfortunately in football it’s not always a bed of roses and fantastic. Sometimes it’s really hard and we are finding that at the moment but we are not alone.”

Chapman cited big clubs like Canvey Island, Grays and Hendon who are bigger football clubs struggling at the bottom end of the Ryman Premier. And he said the players have got to dig in.

“We want the players to realise now this is hard. There is no shirking it, we’ve got to now try and turn things around.

“We have got a real difficult period now where we have five tough games and then we have a period of 10-12 games which are winnable.”

The difficult run starts with Havant away on Saturday before a trip to Tonbridge on Tuesday.

Chapman said: “Havant and Tonbridge are two very difficult games, they are two smashing teams.

“We drew with Havant here but lost to Tonbridge.

“They are probably going for promotion and all due respect to them they are probably at the opposite end of the budget scale to us.”

The boss also knows a minority are thinking he should leave the club after the performances.

But Chapman said: “Leading up to Christmas I got offered a job from the league above. I never even entertained it.

“I speak to Kevin all the time, I trust him and he trusts me. You can have a knee jerk reaction.

“I don’t look at forums or anything because you will drive yourself mental.

“I know there are loads of people at the club and some fans who back me but I know there’s a minority who probably think it’s time for me to go. That’s football. It doesn’t bother me, I am big enough and ugly enough to understand that.

“We know our objective, it’s to try and make this football club better.

“Our goal is to stay in this league.

“We have 28 points from 24 games and it’s not brilliant but it’s not disastrous and we now go to the back end of the season and we have to get results.”

The Hillians budget is small but Chapman is hoping to bring in some new faces.

He said: “By the time we play Kingstonian away, we would love to have three or four new signings.

“And I don’t mean it in a nasty way but a couple might have to go.

“There isn’t any magic formula where the chairman is going to say, ‘here’s a load more money’ it isn’t like that. We have got to do what we can and I will continue to do my best for this football club until I am told otherwise.”

Chapman added:

“I came to the club five years ago and I’ve worked with Kevin that whole time. At that time the club was floating about the league below and were struggling to stay in that league. We have moved on from there

“We are in the league above now. But I look at it, and I am not stupid, and say am I doing a good job? No. From last Christmas we had a bad end to the season. From the start of this season we’ve done ok but we’ve had a poor month. Nothing else. Earlier part of the season we had the same players and they were getting results.

“We now just need to freshen up a bit. They need help on the pitch. I don’t think for one second these players aren’t trying, but I just think some of them have come up a little bit short.

“They don’t understand we are in a battle and it’s about how you prepare yourself for that. It’s not their fault, they’ve never been here before.”