Haywards Heath Town boss wants community to buy back into the club

Heath boss Shaun Saunders
Heath boss Shaun Saunders

Shaun Saunders wants the local community to buy back into Haywards Heath Town as his side continued their good run of form with an 8-0 win over Hailsham Town on Monday.

Heath have now only lost one of their last nine league fixtures, with that loss coming against table toppers Shoreham in mid-December, and Saunders’ praised his side’s latest performance. He said: “Since the Shoreham game our attitude has been spot on, and yesterday eight goals flattered Hailsham”.

“If we had been a bit more clinical in front of goal we would have added to the eight, that’s for sure. We were far superior.

“For a few weeks now, it’s not been about individual players, it’s been about the team and the work rate. As a team we’ve played really well, so well it’s hard to single any one player out. It’s been a big team effort.”

Commenting on their recent form, Town’s boss continued, “We’ve been on a good run, probably got complacent and were a bit naive against Shoreham where we didn’t play well at all. But I suppose you could say it was coming because we were in such good form that a blip was always likely to happen somewhere down the line. Unfortunately it was against Shoreham.

“But we had a good chat after the Shoreham game, and we’ve regrouped and gone again. Like I always say, winning is a habit and they’ve got that winning mentality this group, and we are really enjoying it at the moment. Long may it Continue!”

With Shoreham losing 2-1 at Littlehampton Town, second placed Heath reduced the gap to just five points. However Saunders admits that the seasiders are still well in the driving seat.

“They are there on merit, the stats don’t lie. We still need them to slip again but in football anything can happen. I said to the lads that we’ve got to forget about Shoreham and just concentrate on getting as many points as we can and hopefully we might do something a little bit special.

“But there’s no pressure on us to do that, it’s a consolidation season, we’re adamant about that but obviously we want to do well. The group have got that winning mentality and we’ve built something a little bit special and want to run with it as far as we can.”

Pagham, who sit in fourth place just ten points behind Heath, visit Hanbury Park on Saturday, and while Town’s manager admits that it will be a tough game, he is optimistic of a result. “They (Pagham) haven’t been on great form of late so you could argue that it might be a good time to play them. Only time will tell.

“But it’s a massive game for both clubs because if we were to win then the gap between the two would be a gulf with under half the season to go, and if they beat us then that closes the gap which changes the game.”

Saunders also expressed his gratitude to the fans for making Hanbury a fortress over the last two seasons, and praised the aggressive attitude of the Chairman in redeveloping the stadium.

“It’s a great run to be fair, because in two seasons we’ve only lost two league games to date. We are managing to stir the town and the crowds are going up weekly, so the club’s in a good place at the minute and playing some really good football.

“The new stand was fully opened in the summer, and we’ve just got to get the local people to buy back into it because it’s a sleeping giant, anybody knows that Haywards Heath Town, back in the day, was a massive club.

“It’s not just about the football, it’s about the club progressing as a whole. The chairman and the committee behind him have been really aggressive in getting us to where we are, so they’ve got to take huge credit for that.

“The more locals we get involved the better, so the message is to keep coming! Crowds are obviously important, and it’s been in a rut for a long time, but it’s a really exciting place to be at the minute. I’m enjoying my football as much as I’ve ever enjoyed it this season.”