Carshalton Athletic boss Stuart Massey reckons he has endured the longest 18 games in football he can ever remember, but he is not walking away from Colston Avenue.
This weekend’s visit of Hampton & Richmond Borough brings the curtain down on a torrid season and ultimate relegation from the Ryman Premier.
The Robins have managed just seven wins and 38 goals in 45 games, used 65 players and three managers, and were knocked out of all the major cups by lower league opposition.
There have also been off-the-field issues as the war of words between owner Paul Dipre and the Carshalton Athletic Independent Supporters Club continues to hang heavy over the ground.
And after heavy Easter weekend defeat to Margate (6-0) and Kingstonian (5-1), that mood has not improved.
Massey said: “The lads told me they were looking forward to the end of the season and I think that was reflected in the weekend performances.
“There is a lot of doom and gloom around the place at the moment, and I can understand that, but there is a brighter future here, we just need time to regroup.
“We need stability, three managers in a season is not good for any club.”
He added: “When I took over, I was still in charge of the Whyteleafe youth team and it has been the longest 18 games in my football life. I am footballed out.
“But I have sat down with the chairman and he has a firm idea of the direction he wants to take the club, and so do I because I can see the potential here.
“Hopefully he considers me the right man to take the job on, because next season I can concentrate 100 per cent on Carshalton.”
Relegation to Ryman Division One South was confirmed after a 4-1 defeat at home to Enfield on April 5, and while it is the first time Massey has presided over a drop, it is not the first time he has been affected by it.
He said: “I was around Whyteleafe as a supporter when they were relegated a few years ago, and it was all doom and gloom.
“Relegation is not good for any club, but they have come back stronger with promotion this year and we need to do the same at Carshalton.
“It may not seem this way now, but the future is bright and I want to be the one to bring the good times back.”