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  • Writer's pictureDec O'Reilly

Bobby Wilkinson Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of our home fixture against Chippenham Town on Saturday, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Bobby Wilkinson on Wednesday before facing the visit of the Bluebirds.

Team news update…

“We’ll need to assess Simon [Mensah] on Thursday, he’s still having problems with his shoulder. With his determination he’s trying to get through it so he can play again [on Saturday] but we will assess that, he’s 60/40 he’ll make it. Sam Cox is not available again due to international duty. It’s a massive challenge but a challenge I’m relishing for the football club, I’m just getting on with it but at times it can be frustrating with the lack of numbers.

“Femi [Azeez] will also be back in the squad. He was playing for the county when we played Bath last weekend and wasn’t at Weston a couple of weeks ago because he can’t miss a day-and-a-half or two days of school. He’s a 17-year-old, he’s still at school and he has to play for the county, those come first. He’s a fantastic player so if he’s not there it’s for a reason.”

Connor Stevens update…

“We think it’s a grade one ligaments, maybe a grade two. A lot of work to be done and there’s a lot of people helping me out to get him back fitter as quick as possible. I can’t give a definite timescale at the moment, it could be two weeks [or] it could be four weeks, I can’t give a timescale on it.”

Rhys Tyler update…

“He’s had a lot of treatment this week, it’s 50/50 for Saturday [against Chippenham] but we’re hoping because it depends on if he gets through a training session on Thursday if he’ll be available on Saturday. That was a grade one on his hamstring, it wasn’t a pull, but it would go if he overdid it so we have to be very careful with that one.”

Bradley Bubb update…

“Bradley [Bubb]’s operation went really well. He went home that day on crutches, he’s not in a brace. It’s a long recovery now and I’ll do everything in my power to get him back, hopefully we can all help and support him and get him on the pitch in six to eight months.”

On our upcoming game against Chippenham…

“We have to make sure everyone is together this weekend. The reason I say that is because we need to win [on] Saturday, the boys know we now need to win at home. They [Chippenham] are playing with a bit of pressure now to keep the season alive but they are still with a slim chance of making it [the play-offs]. They’ll come with no fear and nothing to lose so that could be dangerous but for us we have to just all stay together on the day.”

On not underestimating Chippenham…

“They beat us at their place back in November, they came to us last year and we drew 4-4 so it’s important. The assistant manager [Gary Horgan] was one of my old captains, he knows a lot about how I manage and how I work so we may do a few different things. They are an excellent side, centre forward [Nat] Jarvis [is] one of the top goal scorers this year. He got promoted with me twice so will play very well.”

On togetherness…

“For us as a club we really have to come together because we’ve got to win at home. If we aren’t winning at home after 20 minutes or 88 minutes we just have to stay together. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and that’s fine but as a group some comments aren’t accepted. Players like [David] Pratt give 110% every time they play for this football club, he’s our top goal scorer, works harder than I’ve ever seen anyone work and we need Pratty right now.

“This week is just about being a family and staying together, we need to do everything in our power to keep the season going. We’ll be working hard on Thursday night [at training], we’ve been performing well at home but we’ve drawn a lot of games there and our home form now is going to be so important because we’ll need those points. Let’s just turn up on Saturday and treat it as a one-off cup final with players, management team, fans all together. Nothing will be achieved without togetherness but as a one we will achieve.”


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