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  • Writer's pictureDec O'Reilly

Bobby Wilkinson Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of Wealdstone’s away trip to Torquay United on Saturday, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Bobby Wilkinson to gather his thoughts before visiting the league leaders.

Team news update…

“Been a few little niggles here and there but that’s to be expected. Otherwise everyone is fit, raring to go; very confident. [The boys] want to keep up the challenge and want to keep competing, everyone’s ready.”

Connor Stevens update…

“We’re getting there, he’s been having a lot of treatment. We are looking at around two or three weeks.”

On Torquay…

“They are winning the league for a reason because they have been more consistent than anyone else. Credit to them, they came to us a few months back [and] taught us a little lesson while we were still doing really well at the time as well. They deserve to be top but it’s a one-off game now, we need the points and they need the points.

“Yes we are the underdogs and they are the favourites but we are looking forward to it, we know there is a lot of people out there that will not expect us to get anything or go down there and win but they’re the ones I enjoy. I enjoy the challenge, the players enjoy the challenge and we are ready, we’re going to go [to Torquay] and have a good go.”

On what makes us different from the teams Torquay have beaten recently…

“We’re all different teams, it depends who turns up and wants it most on the day, we’ve just got to go there and play like we have been away from home. We have to believe, leave no gaps, don’t let them open the trapdoor. You’ve got to start on the front foot because they’ll come out the blocks really quick. We’ve done our homework on them, we know they strengths and weaknesses just as they know our strengths and weaknesses. We’re prepared to go toe-to-toe with them.

“I read some articles this week where they predict a 2-0; 3-0 win [for Torquay], they are expecting us not to even score, they’re expecting us not to go down there and compete. No one has given us a chance, but I relish and enjoy it. I’m loving it, it’s been a great week with the boys and we’ve had great preparation.”

Why this game is not seen as a free-hit…

“A lot of people say this is a free-hit, why is it? We need three points and we’ve got to keep our momentum going, just imagine what it would do to us if we went down and won. I look at it as another game, we are playing against, for me, the team that will win the league and rightly so. There’s no fear, I love this challenge, this is why I do this job.”

On enjoying the underdog status…

“I just think when you are an underdog you have nothing to lose. We were the favourites to win last week and Chippenham gave us a good game. This team are at the top of the league and they are at the top for a reason, so we are the underdogs. It’s not about enjoying it or not enjoying it, it’s facts and in football everything is about facts and where you are in the league.

“At the moment we are the eighth best team in the league and they are top of the league so on-paper they should be beating us. That’s how everyone sees it every week, but I won’t lie I do enjoy it, I love it [being the underdog]. I’ve seen it happen many times this season, no one has given us a chance to win or get a draw, but we’ve always defied the odds as a group of players and we will go down there and have another go this week.”

On keeping momentum…

“All you’re trying to do is keep the momentum going and pick up points. You set-out to play good football and the first half on Saturday has to be up there as one of the best halves of the season. The second half was another sign of pure grit and determination not to lose. If we can bring both of them down [to Torquay] on Saturday and give 110% then like I have been saying for weeks and weeks, we will compete with Torquay. We don’t make any excuses and we know how difficult it’s going to be.”

On preparation work pre-match…

“This is what I do, I like to prepare on opposition and I like to do my homework. We may tweak a few things like we did last Saturday [against Chippenham] so we’ll go down there and have a game plan. As long as we go down there, we know we’ve done everything we can to prepare, that’s all that matters.

“The boys will then cross the white line and they’ll have to do what they’ve done all season which is go and compete as well as challenge themselves. That’s the word this week, we’ve got to challenge ourselves, can we compete against one of the big boys once again. We’ve challenged ourselves all year, we’ve stood up to the challenge, but this is a bigger challenge now.”

Are the rest of the league hoping for a Wealdstone win?

“They’ll be a lot of people that don’t want us to win on Saturday. I’m not worried about anyone else, I’m just concentrating on us. You hear my management team and my players say it’s just about that game and taking it one game at a time. The nice thing about it is that Wealdstone will be going down there with no fear and we’re going to have a go.”


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