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Lance Key reflects on his sacking as manager of Histon late last week





Nobody was more disappointed than Lance Key that he was unable to turnaround Histon’s poor start to the new season.

Speaking to the Cambridge Independent last month, Key conceded that his job was on the line with the Stutes sitting bottom of the Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division South table.

And following back-to-back defeats to Eynesbury Rovers in the Isuzu FA Vase and league, the club decided late last week to wield the axe.

Lance Key was sacked as Histon boss last week. Picture: Keith Heppell
Lance Key was sacked as Histon boss last week. Picture: Keith Heppell

It brought an end to Key’s long stint at Bridge Road, where he started and ended his playing career before spending the last seven years there as manager.

“It’s disappointing for sure. I’ve been at the club for 18 years overall in different roles and I’m red and black through and through,” he said.

“I started and ended my playing career there and I’ve also coached, been assistant and then stepped up to be manager.

“The club gave us August and September to sort things out, but in a lot of ways it’s felt like there was a cloud hanging over us.

“Maybe that dwindled down to the playing squad. We’d made them aware that we as a management team were in a vulnerable position and that performances needed to be better.

“We felt like things were heading the right way, but those Eynesbury games summed the season up in a lot of ways. In the Vase we were 2-1 up with seconds to play and ended up losing on penalties and in the league we went 1-0 up – it should have been two or three – and we lose 3-1.

“It’s a results business and ultimately our results haven’t been good enough.

“But I’ve had a real love affair with the club and it means a lot to me. It’s given me some real fond memories, which was bound to happen when you win the league and have good FA Vase runs.”

In terms of where it wrong, Key believes that he was not helped by squad availability issues.

However, he has also conceded that it may be as simple as the players in the dressing room needing fresh ideas.

He added: “That’s the million dollar question (about what went wrong). If I knew that for sure then I probably wouldn’t be out of a job now.

“I think the squad is as strong as it ever has been in my time but we struggled with knocks this season and not having everyone available.

“The likes of Ed Rolph, Luke Crisp, Oliver Brookes and Danny Gould all struggling with injuries and working their way back to fitness – these are big players.

“But we still felt like the players we were sending out were good enough to the do job out on the pitch. There was never a lack of effort or anything like that, sometimes players just need new ideas and a different voice.”

While Histon started life without Key by winning 5-1 at Desborough Town on Saturday – Matty Allen scoring all five goals – the former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper is left to take stock.

Yet once the dust has settled, the 55-year-old is eager to return to the dugout.

He said: “Right now most clubs have their squads and managers in place, so it’s a case of wait and see.

“I remember when Steve Fallon stepped down at Histon and gave me the job, he said he felt like he’d lost the dressing room.

“That was a big thing for him to say because the club meant so much to him, just like it does to me.

“But I don’t feel like that. I still feel like I’m young enough and have that hunger and desire to continue managing whenever the right chance comes up.”

Histon, who are currently under the interim charge of reserve team manager Matt Payne, will host Aylestone Park in the League Cup on Saturday (October 7) and will also have home advantage versus Wellingborough Town in a league encounter on Tuesday (October 10).



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