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  • Writer's pictureDec O'Reilly

Bobby Wilkinson Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of Wealdstone’s home game with East Thurrock United on Saturday, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Bobby Wilkinson to gather his thoughts before another crucial match at The Vale.

Squad updates…

“All the boys are firing, fit, energetic and ready to go to work.”

Connor Stevens…

“Hopefully he’ll be back on the park and playing within the next seven to 14 days. He will start light-training next week.”

Bradley Bubb had his stitches removed this week…

“He’s coming along really well, rehab is going well and he’s had his stitches out so I’m very pleased. The hard work starts when he can fully start training again which is still a long way away yet but all the rehab is so important for his own career.”

On East Thurrock…

“It’s another great game for spectators and our fans. [There’s] a lot of pressure on me and their manager [John Coventry] because both teams need to win. They [East Thurrock] are fighting for their lives and we’re fighting for a play-off spot.

“Everyone has to be ready and at the top of the game to beat a good East Thurrock side with a good manager, a team that just beat Chippenham 2-1 [last Saturday].”

On the Rocks’ recent form…

“Since Christmas some of their form has been very very good. They are playing with a little bit of fear as well, they need to win but there’s a lot of pressure on both sets of players but this is why we play the game because of this pressure. This is what we wanted at Wealdstone Football Club because if we were going into this week’s game with no pressure then we wouldn’t be playing for anything.

“[We] enjoy that challenge, it’s going to be a very tough game which I make very clear but with everyone turning up on Saturday it’s very important that we all stick together and be louder than we’ve ever been because we need to win ourselves to keep our season alive. People need to realise how important it is that we keep picking up wins to keep all the clubs around us on their toes.”

On our momentum of good performances…

“Our momentum has been fantastic since the turn of the year. The boys’ attitude, their work rate and their work ethic has been fantastic. The pleasuring thing for me is that they’re in training early [and] they are doing extra work when training finishes, they’re enjoying the challenge. If we don’t make it, it will not be because of lack of trying but let’s see if we can make it and making it means winning games.

“The boys deserve all the credit because they’re giving it their all and their work ethic on and off the pitch is why they are being rewarded so I’m very very pleased about that. We lost last week but everyone is applauding how well the boys played, that was nice to see but I’m still gutted that we lost like the boys were. Their heads were down in the changing room but our work started straight after the game by getting their heads back up, restore that belief and see where we end up.”

On transferring our great support last week to this week…

“I’d just like to thank the fans again for last Saturday, I thought it was very important and it stood out a mile. Some people in Torquay were a little gobsmacked by how well supported we were. We’ll be giving 110% to try and win a game of football on Saturday that won’t be easy.

“When I thank the fans it’s because the fans deserve to be thanked. They come out in their numbers to support these boys, we owe it to them as they owe it to us so we all stick together. I’ve said this from day one, if you’re not a team and as a one and all together then you’ll always fail. The fans need us to make them sing and we need them to help us play well, as a family you just stick together.

“At the moment at the football club, everyone is buzzing but we are all buzzing together. There is no individual sections or anything like that, everyone is just together right now and that’s what I’ve built my foundation on over the years. At times you will fail but most of the time you’ll succeed. The fans want the same as us and we want the same as the fans so we have to make East Thurrock come to us and hate playing against us. We need to make sure East Thurrock don’t enjoy coming to us and we need everyone to keep believing for 90 minutes.”

On the experience of the management at this stage of the season…

“I think experience is very very key at the moment which is why you go and get experienced players like the Danny Green’s, the Christian Smith’s; the Jonathan North’s. I think it’s all round as a team effort that all our experience comes as a one, it’s not about individuals even about that [experience]. It’s all about what we do but what we do is do our extra homework on all these teams so we don’t miss a trick on our opponents.

“Our players know every detail on our opponent. Sometimes it can be about our mental toughness as well to get you through, you have to use all your experience over the years to keep the boys calm, relax so they know their strengths, know their weaknesses but the biggest key is that we play with no fear and enjoy their football.”

On the bigger picture…

“I may sound like a broken record but it’s just one game at a time. If we lost last weekend and everyone around us won then everyone’s heads would drop but not our team because we keep believing and will keep believing until it’s mathematically impossible. We have three home games left [this season] and one of them already has something to play for, for me that’s quite special because we’re not turning up as an end of season game, we’re turning up to try and get these play-offs.

“We’re doing something right here and this is why I do want to build on what we do because you can’t build a good successful team on a one-season wonder because it will always fail. We went and got a group of players that we want to be right now. We can only look into the future and the future right now for this football club and these players is going and challenging yourselves on Saturday. Can we get a win that’s going to be difficult, get through the good, the bad and hopefully that’s when I can step up to keep them calm at half-time [and] in training. We always tell the boys to enjoy their football, win lose or draw, as long as we do it the right way.”


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