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Bobby Wilkinson Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of the visit of Billericay Town on Saturday, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Bobby Wilkinson on Tuesday night to get his thoughts before facing the Essex outfit.

Stefan Brown update…

“Stefan Brown is training really well, he’s going to be in with a real good chance of being part of the squad this week. I’m really pleased he is working hard. It could maybe be a little too early, we’ll assess it on Thursday night [after training].”

Rhys Tyler not this week but maybe the week after?

“Rhys Tyler is about two weeks away, could have done with him this week as Jake Sheppard is suspended so that’s a big loss this weekend for how well he’s been playing. We are going to have to tweak a few things, I’ve got a couple little things up my sleeve that we will be tactically be trying to work on Thursday night [at training] to have it ready for Saturday. It is a big loss losing Jake [Sheppard] this week.”

Freddie Grant update…

“Freddie Grant, absolutely flying, kicking a ball, running. He’s on his own fitness program but has been around the boys now doing a bit of training with us. You’re going to see Freddie [Grant] very shortly and you’ll see him back in the squad hopefully within the next two to three weeks. He deserves all the credit because what he has done away from the football club, what he’s achieved, how hungry [he is]; his desire to get back [to full fitness] is a massive credit to him because he hasn’t been like a lot of Non-League players who go back [home], sit down and get back when I get back.

“He should have been out a lot lot longer but his dedication and his desire to come back to play for this football club this year. It has been absolutely a miracle for how hard he’s worked. He’s been working with quite a few Reading people for me and they can’t speak highly enough of him.”

Bradley Bubb update…

“With Bradley [Bubb] we are hoping he goes and has an operation in the first two weeks of February. When he’s back and needs treatment I will do everything possible, with my contacts, to get him all the best treatment I can. I will make sure he is well looked after even into next season, even though it will be a new season, I will make sure we looked after him to the best of our ability and I’d like to make that clear. We will proper be looking after him even in six [or] seven months time because he got injured playing for us and he’s my responsibility, I will not stop until he’s back playing.”

With Jake Sheppard suspended are we likely to see a formation change…

“Could be, yeah could be but we’ll have to wait and see. We’ll see how things work at training, see how I like it, see what we [management] think. Me and J [Jamie Leacock] are arriving at Billericay now [Tuesday night], we are going to have a look at what they are doing and see what we can come up with, possibly a little game plan and see how we can get on this weekend.”

On Wealdstone not focusing on Billericay playing an extra game this week…

“You can’t worry about what they’re doing but we’ve always got to make sure we’re doing our work as a management team; it would be silly not to come and watch [Billericay vs Slough] and see if we can learn something tonight while they’re playing in the league. But I do make this very clear it’s all about us right now but we are just going to make a couple of little notes, get a few little things in our head.

“I will make that clear to you it’s all about it us, our formation and what we do, what we can do better; how we can work harder to be ready for what is going to be a real tight game against a good side who’s on-form and in the play-offs again.”

On an unbeaten January and Wealdstone becoming a threat…

“No, no threat just one game at a time. I don’t get too high when we’re winning and I don’t get too low when we’re losing. I just make sure as a manager I keep everyone’s feet on the floor, football changes overnight, you might go two or three [games] now that you don’t win. The biggest key here is to be in the mix [around the play-offs] at the right time.

“At the moment we’re in the mix at a good time but there is still a long way to go and we’re not going to win every game but can we keep the momentum going. I’m not looking at last week or the week before in that department, it’s just about focusing on Billericay right now.”

On Tarryn Allarakhia’s fitness after three games…

“Yeah his fitness is good, it’s getting better and better. This is what I’m hoping people have noticed with us, you don’t get in this side unless you’re fit and I’ve always said that. If your team aren’t fit then that’s the manager’s fault and one thing we’ve proven this year is we have got a very fit side. We’ve had a very bad year injury-wise and long-term injuries, it’s been difficult at times because we’ve had to chop and change. It’s not been our fault it’s just people have picked up some serious injuries.

“He’s [Tarryn Allarakhia] come in now, was he fit enough [when he first came], no, have we got him fit, yes but he’s got himself fit as well by working hard. He could have playing 90 minutes the other day [at Woking] but I wanted to slow the clock down and kill time, he’d had such a good game he deserved to come off with 10 minutes to go so we’ve freshened him up and is ready for Saturday if he’s selected.”

On having a possible selection headache…

“Everyone at the moment has gone into overdrive by wanting to play and are hungry. That’s credit to my management team because we made them hungry. You’ve heard me [in interviews] speak about that a lot, teams get contented and are happy to finish mid table most seasons. You’ve got a management team here and players right now that are not happy with that [finishing mid table], we want to push to the limit and push right up to the last minute where we can’t make the play-offs or we can’t win a game of football. I think we have shown that all season, we’ve got determination, we’re losing two or three games and get a point back; [go from] losing games to [then] win the game.

“We’ve got a mentality of never give up and that’s how I like to work with lads; that’s why certain players are with me because of that mentality. That won’t change up to the last day of the season, even if we didn’t win a game again we’ll certainly be trying to win every game.”


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