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DO PEOPLE REALLY THINK WE'D BE TELLING THE PLAYERS TO KNOCK THE BALL UP TO THE SMALLEST PLAYER ON THE PARK ASKS DISAPPOINTED BOSS NEIL

Niavety and inexperience were the main factors in Invicta’s FA Cup defeat at Burgess Hill says manager Neil Cugley.

Still annoyed by his side’s 1-0 defeat, Cugs said: “There was never going to be much in it, as we expected, but once they’d scored we never quite looked like getting back into the game.

“I love the FA Cup and this will take me a few days to get over it. I’m even feeling sorry for (my wife) Pauline, we’ve hardly spoke since I got home on Saturday, and that’s certainly not her fault.”

And to his perennial critics who suggested that the bench had told the players to play the long game, Cugs sad: “Do they really think we’d be telling them to knock it up to Alfie (Paxman) – the smallest player on the park, who was facing a couple of the biggest defenders he’s probably ever seen.

“We were naïve though. When you’ve got such a vastly experienced defender as (Gary) Elphick you’ve got to come away from him a bit more than Kane (Rowland) did.

“But these lads will learn, that’s what they come to Invicta for. I really do believe that they’ll be very good players given time.

“It would have been a very different game if Ade (Yusuff) and (Sam) Hasler had been available but at least they’ll both be back in the side when we play them (Burgess Hill) in the league this weekend coming.”

It was fullback Nat Blanks’ last game before an operation on his foot this later this week and there was some concern that the long serving player may have aggravated the problem further.

“He did get a bit of a whack, but at least he’s having to op on Friday” said Neil. “He’ll be out for a couple of months but hopefully this will sort the problem out completely.

Returning to Saturday’s performance, Cugs admitted: “Of course it was disappointing and we’ve got to start playing more football, whoever we’re up against.

“I think we can do it. We usually have a good spell about now – November always seems a good month for us. The play-offs remain what I believe is a realistic target.”

No further squad changes seem likely just yet. “I always reckon you need ten league games to really tell what’s needed. We’ll continue looking around of course in the meantime to see who may become available and whether they are in our price range.”