• Wealdstone FC

Bobby Wilkinson Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of another away trip on Saturday, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Bobby Wilkinson before facing Eastbourne Borough.

Freddie Grant update…

“He’s trained very hard again all of this week. He will be on the bench within a weeks’ time.”

On any development on Rhys Tyler’s injury…

“Still no update. He’s running well, he’s doing certain things really well and then he has a problem with his foot. We’re still trying to get to the problem with it [his injury] but he keeps getting little niggles here and there. He’s hurting right now and we’re hurting for him but we have to keep just doing our best to do the rehab and do what we need to do to try and get him back as quick as possible.”

On Ramarni Medford-Smith’s loan…

“We’ve got Ramarni [Medford-Smith] until the Billericay game now, Reading are calling him back. I asked Reading to help me out for a few more games and fair play to them, they’ve helped me out because Freddie [Grant] wasn’t quite right to come back yet. I asked them [Reading] would they give him [Medford-Smith] to us for a couple more weeks and they gave him to us for another three games because he needs to go back now and start doing his thing with the [Reading] under-23s.

“They’ve got Manchester United; Southampton in a weeks’ time so they want him back because they are so pleased with how he’s moved forward with this football club and he’s turned into a man now. He’s learnt the man’s game and learnt a lot; I’m pleased for him that’s he’s been called back and [we’ll] see how he gets on at Reading now.”

On Medford-Smith’s development…

“He’s been a credit to work with. His dedication and his hard work has just been a credit to him. He came at a very difficult time [in December] so he’s seen both sides of it where things weren’t going great for us in December and then he’s seen the great side of this football club where the team are playing well as well.

“I’m pleased that he got to see both sides, he had to grind it out when things weren’t going well and then he’s enjoying his football when things are going really well so for a learning thing it’s been fantastic for him as well.”

On Stefan Brown making his return last Saturday…

“I was so pleased to had Stef [Brown] back on the bench, he’s been with me a few years, he’s a prolific goal scorer and he’s a very good talent. He knows where the back of the net is, when he gets confidence and gets a run of games he’ll be an asset to us. We just want to hope now that he doesn’t break down with any niggles, that’s why we’re not really rushing him right now but I’m very pleased to have him back fighting to get back into the squad and into the team.”

On Eastbourne’s managerial change…

“Typical our luck isn’t it? That means that game now is going to be 10 times harder, they are going to really want to impress their new gaffer at home, at their place. As a group of players and management team we need to shut that down and just worry about ourselves. We look forward to the challenge, we know it’s going to be a bigger challenge now.

“We owe Eastbourne a really good game because when they came to us we didn’t give them a good enough game. Yes, we are on the 3G [artificial pitches] that we don’t like playing on but we overturned that when we went to Slough [on New Year’s Day] and beat them 1-0 so we just have to go down there and see if we can get some points.”

On Eastbourne being a potential bogey team for Wealdstone…

“I don’t look at them as a bogey side, it’s whoever turns up on the day and plays well, plays the conditions and plays the AstroTurf the best. They’re going to be favourites because they are at home and they play on AstroTurf every week but we’re in the mind-set where we’re not too worried about all that sort of stuff, we’re just worried about our self.

“Don’t get me wrong we’ve done all our work on them but it’s going to be very difficult with what will he play, Mark McGhee. I know him personally and they [Eastbourne] have a fantastic manager and they’re going to raise their game, the crowd will raise their game for them so we just have to make sure we prepare properly and give 110%.”

On how to prepare for facing opposition with a brand new manager…

“Well what you do in training on Thursday we’ll work on our shape and what we’ll do, we’ll have a plan A and a plan B ready just in case. You’ve just got to prepare and mainly focus on yourself, our shape. We’re ready to be working on our shape and movement on Thursday because it will be difficult to know what they will play. I know they’ve got five [or] six injuries as well, are any of them fit [or] are they coming back, will their manager change the shape?

“It’s going to be a game of chess [in] the first 15 minutes so you’ve got to go down there, you’ve got to stay in the game, you’ve got to be hard to beat [which is] basically what you do away from home anyway. But you’ve got to be more focused and manage the game, especially the first half, until we can suss out what they are doing, what they’re weaknesses are, we don’t know if they’ll bring any players in this week. It is quite difficult in that sense but nothing that we worry about, we relish the challenge if I’m honest.”

On our recent away record and performances which have gained momentum…

“The away record is absolutely fantastic. We’ve just got to carry on and keep doing what we’re doing and just keep believing you can win [both at] home and away; that’s what we’re trying to do. We were disappointed that we dropped two points so late on [last] Saturday [against St. Albans] but we didn’t lose and we kept the momentum going in 2019, we’ll just try and do the same [keep the momentum going] on Saturday [against Eastbourne].”

On Eastbourne facing a different Wealdstone from December…

“We’re a different team now, we’re back with our confidence, we’re back hungry; we’re back organised. Everything behind the scenes is going well, it’s very calm at the club now. Everyone’s just doing their own individual jobs and as a group we’re just coming together [both] on the pitch and off the pitch. At the moment we’re going to just keep focusing on trying to get three points but I’m hoping they certainly meet a different side than what they met in December. We’re ready and we’ll work hard, we certainly won’t be going there [with a] lack of confidence, we’re going there very confident.”

On relishing a quick two-day turnaround this week…

“I relish the turnaround I won’t lie to you. I know some of the boys might find that a little bit difficult because we’ll be on AstroTurf as well [so] it’ll take more out of their legs. But if I’m being very brutally honest with you, I’m not even interested in Monday [against Billericay], [I’m] not even interested in it. I’ve got my focus on one game [and] one game only and that’s Eastbourne. [We want to] go down there and get a point or get three points and keep this run going, that’s all that matters to me right now.”


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