• Wealdstone FC

Bobby Wilkinson’s Pre-Match Thoughts

Updated: Nov 16, 2018

Stones travel to Chippenham for another league match on Saturday. Sam Watts got the views of our manager Bobby Wilkinson pre-match…

The game-plan against Hemel Hempstead…

“The game plan went exactly how we wanted it to go, sat deep and organised before getting a goal and hanging on for dear life. Same as what we did at Welling, except I changed the shape. Overall it was a great evening for everyone on that front.”

Changing shape into a back 3…

“The shape worked really well, but I have to be clear that the shape we have been using is good as well. It just gives us another option for Saturday. Remember we got into the top 2 with the back four, though. We will change shape depending on the homework we’ve done on the opposition.”

The return of Connor Stevens…

“Connor Stevens is just a rock in this defence. It’s no coincidence that on Saturday he was out – we conceded 3, he comes back and we concede none. The back three all deserve credit, Connor did play well but you don’t just play well as an individual, it’s all about teamwork and togetherness.”

On Stones being ahead on points but having played more games…

“We have played two more games, sure, but they're all playing each other and they can’t all win. The best thing to do is to keep getting points on the board. I find it slightly bizarre when people do say that because this week Torquay have got Concord and their both in the play offs. Slough have Woking, they all have to play each other. The games are irrelevant, it’s just about putting points on the board.”

His thoughts on 4 points from 2 difficult games…

“I’m not happy because I wanted 6. I’m not going to get greedy because 4 is a fantastic total, the challenge is can we go and get another point or 3 points this weekend. Can we keep picking up points because the league is so tight. The challenge for these boys is that it’s a quick turnaround as well.

Bobby mentioned the necessity of producing a top performance after Saturday’s poor first half…

“We put our heart and soul into Saturday, we could have turned up a little jaded, but we owed everyone a fantastic performance for 90 minutes, because we felt that we let ourselves down in the first half which doesn’t happen very often. It’s a credit to everyone at the football club in the way we bounced back. It doesn’t matter if it was Hemel or Weston Super-Mare or East Thurrock, we just had to win to redeem ourselves for 45 minutes of sloppy football this year.”

If Chippenham have an advantage having been able to rotate the squad for a cup match in midweek…

“Not really. It’s just whoever wants it on the day. They have an advantage because they are at home, that’s why we play home and away. If they win, they go into the play offs. Once again, we go into another massive weekend where we have to fight for everything, every ball, every point and keep believing. I’m challenging the boys; can they keep this good run going of picking up points. Look at who we’ve played, it’s incredible really. It’s down to the players if they can keep it going.”

The resolute defence and the shape…

“We have been working on shape and being organised from the very first training session. We worked on shape from the first minute when they came in and it looks to be paying off at the moment. We went through a bit of a bad run, like everyone does, but right now it’s about being organised, keeping the shape and believing we can win. Just tonight we will spend another 2 hours working on shape and tinkering small things, because I still wasn’t happy the other, I want perfection. This management team will strive for success and strive for perfection.”

An update on Jake Sheppard…

“We will know how he is after training tonight but he is 50/50. It was a calf injury, we aren’t sure how bad it is. We took him off just as a precaution on Tuesday and he might be in the squad for Saturday, he may not.”

And the reaction of the team…

“We got hit with another injury, but we didn’t dwell on it, we got on with it. Simon [Mensah] who was rested on the bench on the night came in and had a great performance. We could’ve sulked about it and made it an excuse, but we got on with what we had to do.”


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