BY JACK BURGESS
Hakan Hayrettin will rip apart the Dulwich Hamlet squad if he stays on as manager – with the South London club suffering relegation from National League South.
A point on the final day of the campaign at Champion Hill would have been enough to retain their status.
But a 1-0 home defeat against Chippenham Town ensured that Hamlet went down on goal difference, with Dover Athletic conceding two goals fewer.
Dulwich conceded 89 times in 46 matches – the most in the division – and their five-season stay in National League South is over.
Hayrettin returned to the Hamlet dugout at the weekend after missing the two previous matches due to his mother passing away.
“I don’t want to keep blowing smoke up people’s backsides and saying they’ve done well and saying we were better than them – because we weren’t,” said Hayrettin.
“We gave away a stupid goal.
“I’ve been here now for 12 or 13 games and the first instruction I give to people is to not kick it down the middle. For the goal, the ball comes down the middle and (Conor) Lawless doesn’t track his man. The ball comes into the box, we aren’t tight enough and then it’s a simple finish.
“Simple things like that are going to lose you games. I’ve got a friend of mine telling me: ‘You’re a bit harsh on the players’. Well, you know, I must tell them what I think is the right thing to do to get results.”
At the final whistle there was a notable silence in the stands as fans realised that the fear of relegation had become the reality.
When asked about his message to the supporters after a tough day Hayrettin said: “They deserve better. Some of the players are going to have to take stock and realise who they’re playing for.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to have over 3,000 supporters every week and at your disposal. I didn’t think we were value for money on Saturday.”
Hayrettin is Dulwich’s third boss this season.
Long-serving Gavin Rose saw his 13-year reign end in September and the club then largely endured wretched form under Paul Barnes at the start of March – they were winless in 10 matches at the time.
Hayrettin, who won promotion to the National League with Maidstone in the previous campaign, was brought in.
“I don’t know what the future holds for me right now – it’s been a very tough week for me,” he said. “It would be an honour and a privilege to stay here. I want to stay here. But if I get the opportunity to do that, then it will be a completely different changing room to what it is now.”
Dulwich stage a testimonial for Nyren Clunis on Sunday (3pm).
The winger scored 117 goals in 486 matches for the club. The tribute match was delayed due to Covid.
Dulwich’s Isthmian South winners of 2013 will come up against the Isthmian Premier play-off winners from 2018 with Clunis playing a half for each team.
PICTURES: ROB AVIS
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