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  • Sam-Watts

Bobby Wilkinson's Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of Wealdstone travelling to Plainmoor to face Truro City, Sam Watts spoke to Bobby Wilkinson to get his thoughts on the last game before Christmas…

An Injury Update

“Joe [Payne] is out for 6-8 weeks, so he has gone back to Barnet. We thank him for all his dedication and hard work. It’s so sad that he’s ended up getting an injury, but that’s football. He’s another player that’s out quite long term; I’m a little bit gutted. I need to look now to bring someone else in for that position.

“Rhys [Tyler] is 70/30 but I still don’t think he will make this weekend. We are assessing him tonight with treatment but it’s not looking like he will make Saturday. Bradley Bubb has got bleeding on the knee, we are waiting for confirmation so he is out for another 6-8 weeks. Matt Lench had a sore hip but we got him through treatment and he played for Hitchin last night.

“We are without Glenn Wilson this weekend with his wife expectant of a baby arriving on the day of the match. It’s unfortunate but we have to get on with it the job.”

On Eoin McKeown after he started last week…

“Eoin is a young, raw lad. I just want to thank Colchester for allowing me to have him for 28 days on short notice because of the injury front that was very good of them. I want to help him out – he is raw. He’s a young talent with a bright future who’s coming here to learn. He will be a squad player with us.”

The performance and situation with Alexander Samizadeh…

“I’m hoping to have him for 2-3 games after watching him for Crawley Under-23s. He’s on trial there at the moment. He was one I noticed and asked him to come and be a squad player for a few games to make up numbers and luckily he accepted. He’s a great talent, so another ploy after being out to watch a lot of matches at the moment.”

On sitting 11th in the Conference South, and just the two points between Wealdstone and 6th…

“You just have to prepare for every game, don’t you? We are halfway through the season on Saturday, and now it’s 20 FA Cup Finals until the end of the season. Our first challenge in this half of the season was to be in and around the play offs – we’ve done that. Now it’s a case of sticking together as a group of players, with no distractions, and I make that clear. We are going to keep fighting every week, the biggest key is that when we come to the last few games that we have a chance. We have to go game by game and pick up some points.

“We are in a great position on a great number of points. Would I like more? Yes. But we are in a fantastic position because I can still challenge. If you win 2 games you end up in 5th, if you lose 2 games you drop down but me, the boys, the management team are sticking together. We are loving the journey and we will just keep working hard. The challenge is where we are at the end of the season. If we make it we make it, if we don’t then we don’t but it won’t be a lack of trying I can assure you of that.”

The Christmas period and three games in one week…

“The last two weeks have been a challenge because of the injuries and the goalkeeping situation. What do you do? Do you lie down or go again? I have been in bigger challenges in my life if I’m honest. It’s been difficult to pick up points because like I said it’s been pouring and it’s raining all over us but we’ve got one target – to keep fighting every single week. If we stopped fighting then I would be disappointed but these boys have been a credit all year. We’ve lost games but everyone loses games now and again. Three games in a week is a big challenge because of the injuries; we hope we don’t get another one or two.”

Forgotten injuries…

“We speak about injuries but we don’t speak about Freddie [Grant] – he’s got another two months. Stefan Brown is another 3 weeks away. Everyone is forgetting these players, aren’t they? We have a long injury list and we haven’t recovered on that left side since we lost Freddie. Every time Stefan Brown comes back he’s broken down because we are rushing him back too quickly.”

A show of support for David Pratt…

“I have to be open and honest – [David] Pratt shouldn’t have played on Saturday because of his back. But the way he went out there and gave me his all with a bad back was tremendous. It was a bad back by the way, but we needed him. He put on that shirt after injections and he went and played for the club. It’s a massive credit to him and I make it very clear, I support him all the way. It actually made his injury worse but he played for the club and he deserves a lot of credit.”

Whether Truro’s shortage of support at home hinders their chances at all?

“Truro are in-form at the moment. They have just gone to Slough, beaten them and won 4-0 in the FA Trophy. They will have very good confidence – we have a draw and a loss. But it just comes back to the fact we have to turn up with whatever squad we can fill, whatever team we put out, we compete and work hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re home or away at this point it’s just a case of picking up points.”

On Wealdstone having to be wary that Truro have only lost once in their last seven league games…

“I have to say that myself and the players are wary of every game. We know what can happen in this league – anyone can beat anyone. We are just putting our heads down and getting on with our game. Like I say, right now it’s FA Cup finals all the way, but it’s theirs too. They need to win to get further away from the relegation zone and up the table and they are in a great run of form. Credit to them. We are in a bit of a blip now, but there are seven teams in the top seven at the moment, but only two of those teams have stayed in there are year. But the teams that come through the other end are the ones that stick together and keep fighting for each other. Us as a group of players and a management team know the goals – hopefully we can achieve it.”


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