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Dean Brennan's Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of Wealdstone’s third National League South fixture of the season, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Dean Brennan to gather the manager’s thoughts before the Stones travel to Braintree Town.

Squad Update

“We are hoping Dejon [Noel-Williams] will be back training tomorrow [Thursday]. Kav [Kavan Cotter] will go out on loan, we’ve agreed a deal with a club and that just has to get finalised, we’re hoping that can be done this week because Kav [Kavan Cotter] has got to play games.

“Northy [Jonathan North] I would say will be another week or two. Ryan Sellers we are hoping is the same [another week or two]. Hopefully after this period they will be available for selection.

“There hasn’t been any new injuries sustained in the last two games.”

On Braintree…

“We scouted them [Braintree Town] last night [Tuesday]. The report that’s come back is that they didn’t deserve to lose the game [against Billericay], they should have won the game. They are a young, raw, attack-minded side with a lot of speed, a new squad with a new manager [Glen Driver] who’s new to this level [National League South].

“There’s a lot of energy within their team as well [with] lots of power [and] lots of speed. They’ve given a lot of players an opportunity from the division below which is refreshing to see, we are expecting a really tough game.”

On the difficult start Braintree have had to the season…

“They’ve [Braintree] come up against two good sides, Bath City are a good side who you’d expect to see in the top seven and Billericay have loads of quality and are another time you’d expect to finish in the top seven. They have had a baptism of fire, we want to reach those levels [top seven] so we’ll see how we step up to the plate against Braintree.

“That will be a test to the character and bravery of the team, we’ve got three points and two strong performances from two sides [Dartford and Dulwich] who we expect will both make the top seven and will want to go up.

“We are wary of their [Braintree’s] strengths but the way I look at it, it’s all about what we can affect which is how we want to attack, go forward and improve.”

On any similarities that Braintree and Wealdstone share…

“They [Braintree] play a different formation to us, they play a real technical style while we press and have an overloading style. They have got pace in their team in central midfield and at the top-end of the pitch but they don’t always go through the flanks, they like to attack down the middle a lot.

“I don’t see too many similarities really [with Braintree] other than we are both newer sides. We’ve been the better side in our first two performances [against Dartford and Dulwich Hamlet], even though we lost last night [Tuesday at Dulwich] I think we have still been the better team.”

On having eight fixtures in August…

“What’s great about this time of year, which is one of the positives, is that we can bounce straight back with another game. We lost on Tuesday [at Dulwich Hamlet], of course [we’re] disappointed but I’ve been doing this for eight years now [and] there’s no point looking back, we can only learn from Tuesday and improve for Saturday. That’s how we have to look at things and I think that’s important.

“Our concentration is on Braintree and we have a good opportunity to bounce back. It’s a fifty-fifty game in my opinion, they [Braintree] are looking for their first win.”

On improvements in training before Saturday…

“It’s only the start of the season, we are only four [or] five days in. When we get to mid-September and we’ve played eleven games, then let’s see where we are from then.

“The league [table] will start to make shape around that time, we just have to keep getting our point across. We have a good opportunity of coaching the team on Thursday night just to improve on things in the final third, how we make good opportunities [become] chances and make the opportunities count.

“We’ll get across a positive point of how we want to play, keep training the players to our style. What I like from last night [Tuesday at Dulwich] is that there was no lack of desire, our team tried really hard. If we keep playing to that level and keep working hard while staying positive, results will come.”

On our support at Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday night…

“I thought the support was excellent. The round of applause we got from our supporters was unbelievable and it was really positive. It’s easy to cheer when we’ve won, but it’s sometimes a better feeling for me when you receive that positive reception after a defeat. When one-hundred-and-fifty or two-hundred fans clap you off, you know you’ve done well.”


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