Coach Tate in buoyant mood ahead of derby

Wes Tate
Wes Tate

Eastbourne United player-coach Wes Tate is confident his side can continue their unbeaten start with another win over rivals Hailsham on Monday.

The County League Division one encounter will mark the second time in 10 days that the two sides will have met, following last weekend’s 5-2 FA Cup victory for United.

After that impressive performance, Tate believes his side has enough firepower to take three points in the derby.

Tate said, “We’re reasonably confident going into this game as we’ve already played them once and we’ve seen what they’ve got.”

Tate admits there were some problems with numbers pre-season, but says the current squad is determined and happy.

“This group of lads we have brought in have surprised us with how much confidence they bring into each game.

“While we will be going into the match with confidence, we know we are still some way off where we want to be in terms of fitness.”

Despite the comfortable win last Saturday, and their early second-place spot behind Dorking on goal difference, Tate isn’t underestimating the rival club who are still searching for their first point.

“I wouldn’t say we’re expecting the win,” added Tate. “In this league anyone can beat anyone. However, we are confident that we are capable of beating any team at home.”

Along with the home advantage, Tate is expecting his squad to be at full strength over the Bank Holiday.

“We should have a full squad for the game. There are a few little knocks but we’ve got a big squad. We will swap and change if we need to.”

Before the rivals clash, Eastbourne United will face Crawley Down Gatwick at home on Saturday.

Kick-off for the Crawley Down game is at 3pm, and the Hailsham fixture will kick-off at 11am on Bank Holiday Monday.

See Tuesday’s Gazette for full match report.