Steve Bateman keeps cool despite Guildford City defeat
By Rob Stevens • Published 24 Aug 2012 08:00 0 Comments
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Slough Town manager Steve Bateman. Picture by Horsham Rebel.
STEVE Bateman has played down Slough Town's tag as favourites for the Southern Division One Central title - although he does not see midweek conquerors Guildford City as challengers.
The Rebels got the new campaign off to a flying start last weekend with a comfortable 5-0 home win against Northwood but came unstuck against newly-promoted Guildford - two-time champions of the Combined Counties Premier Division - on Tuesday night, losing 2-1.
Slough - runners-up to St. Neots Town last year - have been labelled by many people as favourites for promotion into the Southern Premier this season but Bateman is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, insisting the Rebels will not get things all their own way.
Speaking to the Observer he said: "We're not getting carried away because we came unstuck on Tuesday.
"Guildford are more than beatable - I'm not looking at a side that has come and outplayed us.
"We are just not creating the way I had hoped we would, we ended up going from back to front too much - that's not what we're really about and something I'll have to change.
"I'm sure we wouldn't have it all our own way this season. I said it would be a difficult start and we've slipped up."
The Rebels first opportunity to get back to winning ways comes this Saturday when they host Corinthian of the Kent League Premier Division in the preliminary round of the FA Cup (3pm kick off).
Corinthian, like Slough, have got off to a mixed start this season winning one and losing two of their opening league fixtures.
Should Saturday's tie be a draw the two sides will meet in a replay at Gay Dawn Farm on Bank Holiday Monday (August 27). If not, Slough return to Southern League action and a clash with their Holloways Park landlords Beaconsfield SYCOB.
The Rams beat Bateman's men 2-1 in the play-off semi-finals when they last met in May but have since suffered a mass exodus - including star players Victor Osubu, Adam Bernard and Fiston Manuella.
Bateman continued: "We've got the FA Cup and then we'll try to get another three points in our 'home' fixture against our landlords.
"Promotion is what we want but I'd love a prolonged run in the FA Cup. The valuable finance it could bring into the club is not lost on me.
"But I reminded the players that we lost to a Kent League side a couple of seasons back."
Regarding the potential Bank Holiday derby he added: "The word revenge comes into mind but it's not, as disappointed as were are at the play-off defeat.
"We'd like the bragging rights but obviously Beaconsfield have them at the moment. Both sides will want to get back to winning ways in the league."
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