The crucial factor likely to determine whether Hayling United can maintain fine recent form

Hayling United manager Dan Bishop believes his side's push to claim a top-three Hampshire Premier League Senior Division finish will come down to how often he can get his best players on the pitch.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 11:29 am
Hayling United boss Dan Bishop. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080820-17)

Just like a number of sides at HPL level in the early stages of the season, the Humbugs have struggled with availability of squad members.

Whether it be players forced to isolate in regulation with the latest government coronavirus pandemic guidelines or those wanting to enjoy time away on weekends as restrictions slowly ease, a number of clubs have been hit.

Hayling are no different, although boss Bishop says things are starting to improve for his team, which is evident with a current run of five successive wins in all competitions.

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But in order for the Humbugs to keep climbing the table – they currently sit in seventh – Bishop says it will be reliant on what team he can get out game to game.

The Hayling boss said: ‘It is getting better (player availability). When we get our players on the pitch we look a good side, when we can’t get them on the pitch we don’t look as good. Players win games and managers lose them - I’ve been told that many times. Let’s get the players on the pitch and not leave it to us not to mess it up.

‘It’s been a very strange beginning of the season for a lot of teams, we’re all in the same boat, for sure. With all the festivals, Covid and everyone getting pinged after the Euros finals - it’s proved a headache for a lot of teams.

‘I think some teams will have benefited from the fixture list early on, we’ve been on the other end of that, but over the course of the season it’s going to balance itself out, it always does.

‘We still would like to be up towards the top three come April and we’ve just got to go out and do what we can week by week.’

Hayling head to Sway in the league on Saturday aiming for a sixth straight victory in all competitions.

They ran out 3-1 winners last weekend over Liphook thanks to goals from Ben Bishop, George Gregory and Jacob Lynch.