'We're still ahead of where we should be, despite Southend defeat,' says Maynard
Stuart Maynard offered a sense of perspective after Wealdstone lost by the odd goal at home to Southend.
The Stones were sunk by a 62nd-minute penalty from Marcus Dackers and dropped two places to eighth in the National League table after their first defeat since the second day of the season.
"It's frustrating but we've got to look at the positives," said the manager. "We've lost two games in 10 in this league. It's been an incredible start for us. The group's done really well. We always get the questions about are clinical enough, but are we clinical enough for what? If we were clinical and took the chances that we've created in our last two games against Torquay and against Southend, I think we end up in a title race and that's the difference.
"We've got a young group, they're learning on the job like and we're ahead of where we probably should be as a group. The lads have been absolutely outstanding. I can't speak highly enough of them, their work ethic their desire and the way that they're taking on information. It's been absolutely outstanding. We've just got to reset and go again. When we've lost a game in this season, we've always bounced back with a positive performance. I thought it was a good performance [against Southend] but we can't become outcome based. Did we knock on the door enough when they went down to ten men? No, but sometimes you've got to give huge credit to the opposition. They're a good side and I think, come the end of the season, they'll be right in the mix."
The Stones have won one and drawn one after going down to ten men themselves this season, but found breaking down a side with a man short this time a more difficult task.
"I think sometimes when you go down to 10 men, which we have twice this season, they got into a low block and it was difficult for us to break them down at times, but I still think we created good chances, not clear-cut chances but we got into really good areas in and around their 18-yard box," said Maynard. "It's something that we're working on in training with lads and we've got young lads that are still learning. The more and more they keep getting in those positions, the better we will get."
Maynard recognised it is now four draws and a defeat in the last five, but the Stones have the joint best defensive record in the league and would have bitten your hand off had you offered them a place in the top ten after ten games.
"We can't get frustrated," said Maynard. "We can't expect to just keep winning games in this division, as much as us as a management team and a team want to keep winning. We go into every game wanting to win, but we've just got to be realistic as to where we are at as a football club. We're doing outstandingly – and that's on and off the pitch. We're slowly taking small steps and we've got to keep doing that. We can't get ahead of ourselves now and we've just all got to stick together. When you get a defeat, you've got to stick together and don't look at the negatives. There's loads of positives to come from that performance."
* Pictures by Jon Taffel