Saints must stay in Conference South says Castle

Boss gutted by 10 point deduction

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle says it is important that the club stays in Conference South.

The Football Association’s decision to deduct the Saints 10 points for financial irregularities has put the club in serious danger of slipping out of the league having plunged Castle’s men to the foot of the table and leaving them 11 points from safety.

The City boss admitted he was “gutted” by the FA’s decision and said he thought the club would get away with just a reprimand.

“I think it’s important that this football club, regardless of Steve Castle being manager or John Gibson being chairman, stays in Conference South,” the City boss said after Saturday’s draw at Hampton.

“I think it’s where we need to be, I think lower than that it’s all teams scratching around like Sutton, Kingstonian and Hornchurch that are fighting to get out of there and there is a real dog-fight to get out of that level. We’ve got to fight tooth and nail to stay at this level.

“The impression I was given, I thought we were going to get a rap over the knuckles. I thought Curzon Ashton that was going to be the landmark case that we were going to be likened to; I certainly didn’t think it was going to be double figure points. I don’t know the ins and outs of it (the investigation) I haven’t been privy to that information.”

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The 44-year-old concedes his team are now left with a huge mountain to climb to retain their Conference South status but believes the players can achieve that goal if the club continues to fight until the death.

Castle added: “I’m a stubborn devil. I am gutted it’s given us a mountain to climb and probably my reaction and my attitude might depend on what lads we can keep and how committed we’re going to be.

“If we’re just going to sack it financially and not going to go for it there’s always a chance (we could go down).

“I’ve said in a previous interview there’s a lot of points to play for and for us to go over to Woking and away to Dover and away to Farnborough, if we’ve got this team we may well nick things. If we can keep everybody together, I don’t know whether that will happen, if we can and we can just give it a go then if we fail we fail but we fail fighting.”

Castle revealed that he spoken to John Gibson on the telephone and that the chairman had apologised to him for the situation. The City boss also raised the issue of the club appealing the Football Association’s decision to deduct the club 10 points.

“He’s (Gibson) apologised, he’s very stressed out as you can imagine,” explained Castle.

“I’d just like to hope we could look to some sort of appeal, yes you are looking at an increasing fine but they surely couldn’t increase the points tally they’re going to take off us. If we got half that taken off it might just give us a fighting chance.”