BY TOBY PORTER
Dulwich Hamlet boss Gavin Rose won’t be looking at the table for another five games after tomorrow’s match against Hungerford.
The patterns which emerge take 10 matches to become clear, he believes. The champion Hill boss is still watching his own charts though, as he rallies from Covid-19.
The 44-year-old was rushed to hospital days before the start of the season with breathing difficulties but is now recovering and getting back to full lung capacity.
The father of two started to struggle at home when his wife called the ambulance and he was rushed to hospital in Gravesend. He was on the wards for six days but the medics thought he was fit enough and strong enough to survive without a ventilator.
He was back in the dugout in time to see his side lose 2-0 at home on August 28 by current leaders Dartford.
But the Hamlet boss is still taking positives from that game with a performance that belied the scoreline.
More frustrating was last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Eastbourne, as the visitors led with only a handful of minutes to go, when away points are so vital at this stage of the campaign.
Rose said: “I would not say I am 100 per cent but I am able to work, taking it easy off the training pitch and not running around too much or doing as much as I was. And building up my lung capacity slowly.
“It was pretty alarming. The ambulance got to my house within five minutes – my breathing had become very strained. I had all the other symptoms before that and my blood pressure when I got to hospital was not where the doctors would have wanted it to be.
“The CT scan showed there were blood clots on my lungs and the doctors thought they could deal with that. My sports background meant they thought I would be able to cope without a ventilator.
“I still try to stay active. I have got young kids and they keep me fit and healthy.”
Rose was given the all clear on August 11 but was not able to go in to Champion Hill for days afterwards.
“I wasn’t in a great way,” he said. “I had to listen to our first game of the season [a 1-1 Vanarama National League home draw with Chippenham] on the club radio which took me back to my youth! But I had to let go of a lot of things and let Junior Kadi and Junior James get on with running the team.”
The weekend’s home league game against Hungerford has been postponed because the visitors had positive Covid tests in their camp and a Sunday fixture gives them three clear days after their release date.
Rose said: “We would have liked to have played on Saturday but everyone’s health is more important than anything.”
Rose always stresses not looking at the table but looking after performances instead – and the table will look after itself.
“I’ve not looked at the table because we have not reached the 10-game mark,” he said. “I’m not even sure where we are at the moment. Our target has to be to average two points a game – if we can do that, I will be very happy because it will give us a chance of promotion.
“Dartford have set the standard but we will not see patterns emerging until after 10 games.”
Jack Holland came off as a precaution against Eastbourne but is expected to be fit. One or two others also have tweaks but should be available.
Rose is also looking at bringing in players on loan from the fringes of clubs higher up the football pyramid.
“We’ve got one or two training with us,” he revealed. “But it’s probably too early to say anything yet because finance is always the biggest issue. In an ideal world we would have signed them straight away but these days we have to be much more meticulous.”
Eastbourne scored against the run of play in the first half last Saturday but Hamlet struck back through a scrambled goal making it 1-1 at half-time.
Hamlet went ahead with about 15 minutes to go after the home keeper had fumbled and Tyler Sterling headed back towards goal. McQueen swivelled and fired home from 10 yards out.
Rose said: “We were in control of the first half but they took a quick free-kick and we had switched off. They scored with about six minutes left which was disappointing because you always want to hold on.”
Rose praised performances of youngsters Jeremy Splatt and Alpha Diallo who have been impressive in recent games. Substitutes from last weekend will get a game behind closed doors against Carshalton this week, to keep up their fitness. It also gives graduates from Rose’s Aspire Academy graduates the chance to come into first team contention.
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