Di Paola says Horsham’s play-off place not yet being confirmed ‘sharpens’ them

Sittingbourne v Horsham. High fives at full-time. Picture by John Lines
Sittingbourne v Horsham. High fives at full-time. Picture by John Lines

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola believes the fact they still haven’t mathematically sealed a play-off place is a good thing.

With ten minutes to play on Saturday, sixth-placed VCD Athletic looked set for defeat at Ramsgate, that would have guaranteed Horsham a Bostik League South East play-off spot.

But a late swing saw the Kent club record a 2-1 win. With Horsham smashing Sittingbourne 6-1, it means VCD can now only match Horsham’s point tally if they win all their remaining games.

If Horsham were to not pick up another point, VDC would need to also turn around a better goal difference of 24 and while that seems unlikely Di Paola is happy to have that spurring his side on.

Especially with the play-off winners then being compared on a points-to-game ratio meaning two at Step 4 with the lowest will not be promoted.

On not confirming their place in the promotion-winning games yet, Di Paola revealed: “With the points to game thing, it’s almost like you have to go to the last game anyway, so it is not worth even looking at it. Who cares? We could get in there and not go up. It’s a bit of that really.

“We are just going to focus on trying to win games and where we end up is where we end up. What will be will be sort of thing.

“I quite like the fact we are not there yet. It’s good it sharpens the mind. With the points-per-game thing, we do not want to take our foot off the gas. If we do and we lose two and draw one of our last ones, then we are not going up. It’s as simple as that.

“The fact there still is a play-off chasing team is good for all of the sides above them, you can’t relax. I’m not and we will go to the last game as hard as we possibly can and see where it takes us. Normal seasons you may rest a couple in the last few games, but you just can’t do it as you do not know what is going to happen in these other leagues.”

And the manager also believes that the battle to determine their play-off opponents, will go down to the final day. He added: “It’s going to be so tight, everyone is winning. I think it come down to that last weekend. It’s fun to be involved.”

The Hornets travel to Herne Bay on Saturday.