This week I caught up with Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm after his side’s FA Cup exit to League Two Bradford City at the weekend:
TK: Looking back to the FA Cup tie on Saturday, were you a little disappointed or frustrated maybe that the boys couldn’t quite get to grips with Bradford?
SM: No, not really. I knew it would be a tough game and they would have had to have 4 or 5 players having an off day and we would have needed everyone to have a stormer. Bradford were excellent on the day but my lads never gave up.
TK: Did you see it as a compliment to yourselves that they felt they needed to field a full strength team to ensure they progressed to the next round?
SM: Most definitely, they made a host of changes against Oldham on Tuesday night and lost so maybe if they hadn’t had gone so strong on Saturday we may have had a better chance. That will always be a question that can’t be answered unfortunately.
TK: It certainly wasn’t as if Tonbridge didn’t have their chances to score at crucial times in the game, did you feel you had to go for it a bit at times which opened you up at the back?
SM: We had a couple yeah. The free kick which led to their 3rd goal, if that was given to us as it should have been right on the stroke of half time we’d have loaded the penalty area and possibly had a decent chance from that.
That was the goal which really killed off the tie for us and it seemed from then every time we went forward we left ourselves exposed and they punished us for it.
TK: A great occasion for the club, yourself and the players live on TV, but unable to have spectators inside Longmead to watch first-hand, are you hoping that after lockdown we see some progress towards their return?
SM: I hope so for everyone’s sake, supporters need their football. The players and the clubs need them back too, we want to see this happen.
TK: A mention for Bantams fan Jonnie Carrington, a fantastic gesture to set up a JustGiving page which has raised in excess of £6000 at the time of writing for your club, it just goes to show the strength of the football family.
SM: It’s something we didn’t ask for or were expecting to happen, but an unbelievable thing to do that we are grateful for. I’ve spoken to Jonnie a couple of times, he’s an absolute diamond and welcome to Longmead Stadium any time.
TK: How pleased were you to go to Chelmsford 48 hours later and return to Kent with three points give the short turnaround between games?
SM: It was great to get a positive result on Monday night and pleasing that we had a game straight away so the lads didn’t have any time to dwell on Saturday’s result, very pleased.
TK: With a lot of football still to be played this season especially midweek, do you think it’ll be a while until the league table settles down a bit?
SM: After the first ten games are done it starts to give you a bit of reflection in the way things might turn out, but with squads being stretched with a lot of games on top of each other it might take a little longer this time around.