Chapman hoping to turn cup clean sheets into league clean sheets

Jack Brivio is back in training after a long-term injury
Jack Brivio is back in training after a long-term injury

Burgess Hill Town manager Ian Chapman can turn cup clean sheets into league clean sheets as his side prepare for two home matches against Margate and Harlow Town.

The Hillians have been leaking goals in league matches but have had five clean sheets in cup matches this season.

The latest was on Tuesday night as Chapman’s side beat East Grinstead in the Sussex Senior with goals from Aaron Smith-Joseph and Tony Garrod (report here).

But this followed a 4-2 defeat to Thurrock on Saturday - the sixth time they have conceded four or more in a league match this season.

Did Chapman see Tuesday as a confidence booster?

He said: “Yeah I think so. We had a couple of poor results and spoke about the fact we need to stop conceding goals, so it’s great we are in the quarter-finals now. Hopefully we will get back on it on Saturday and get on a good run.”

Margate are currently seventh in the Bostik Premier table while Tuesday’s opponents Harlow Town are second from bottom - four points and two places below the Hillians.

Chapman said: “I’ll keep saying it but there’s no easy games.

“One thing we have been doing is scoring goals so what we must start doing as a team is tighten up.

“This season we have conceded far too many goals. We have actually had quite a few clean sheets in the cup so we have to take that form into the league and stop conceding.

“It was important last night (Tuesday) that we got the result.”

Chapman is delighted to have Jack Brivio back in training, but he will not be ready to play until mid-December.

He said: “He is massive for us. He has a lot of energy in the middle of the park.”

Gary Elphick and Lucas Rodrigues, who both missed the Senior Cup match at East Grinstead, will be back for the Margate game.

Chapman is also hoping to bring in at least two players before Saturday after releasing Brandon Diau, Max Huxster and Lounisse Merzouk.

He said: “Lounisse lives in back end of London and I can’t work with him enough. He’s a really good footballer and if he was local it would not be a problem.”

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Brandon, he’s done really, but when we play him we play too direct and I don’t want to play that football here.

Max, I am sure eventually he will be a good keeper but he wants to be in the first team first choice and I can’t promise him that.

“Brandon, he’s done really, but when we play him we play too direct and I don’t want to play that football here.

“Max, I am sure eventually he will be a good keeper but he wants to be in the first team first choice and I can’t promise him that.”

Although fourth from bottom, Chapman insists he is not under pressure.

He said: “I am not under pressure from anyone at the club. I met with the chairman last week and spoke about things, moving the club forward. I hate losing football matches and I might have to chop and change things until we get the solution. If that’s what I have got to, then that’s what I will do.

“I have been at the club six years and I know the club inside out. I do know what I need. But I can’t just go ‘Mr Chairman, give me x amount of money and I will get four in and all is solved’. I have to do it a bit at time and little bit of trial and error at times.

“I think we have the basis of a really good squad now but we still need to tinker with a few bits. But it’s an ongoing project and one we won’t shy away from.”

Chapman also commented on the death of former Crawley Town boss Dermot Drummy. He said: “Even though he was at a pro club he had loads of time to talk to us about everything and said we were like a proper Non-League football club. A really nice man.”