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Dean Brennan's Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of Wealdstone’s FA Cup third qualifying round tie at Bristol Manor Farm on Saturday afternoon, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Dean Brennan to gather the manager’s thoughts before the trip to The Creek Stadium.

Squad update…

“I was chatting with George [McLennan] on Sunday morning to try and lift his spirits, it’s devastating for the lad. It’s devastating for us as a team because we thought George was going to give us a big boost with nice balance on the left-hand side. He’s attack-minded with beautiful speed, he’s a technically strong player and he can defend one-on-one.

“We’re gutted for him and we hope he is back as soon as possible, he’s going to be out until the end of January at least. If we can get him back for the run-in then hopefully, he can come back in and have a part to play in the season. He’s got some tough times ahead of him mentally but he’s strong enough and will only make him stronger. We’ll one-hundred percent be there for him and make sure we give him all the support that he needs to get back fully fit.

“Kav [Kavan Cotter] is waiting for the results of his MRI scan which he had last Thursday. Once we get those results, we can see exactly where he’s at.

“Dejon [Noel-Williams] is back with us after his loan ended at Hayes [& Yeading]. He picked up a concussion which is a two-week protocol and he’s cup-tied, so he won’t feature this weekend.

“Phil [Roberts] wanted to go and play football so he’s joined Hayes & Yeading [on dual registration]. We have fourteen outfield players available for this Saturday.”

On Bristol Manor Farm…

“We’ve got the video from last night [Tuesday]’s game [against Weston-super-Mare], we’ve had that game and Saturday’s game [against Moneyfields]. They have a lot of players that have played at this level [National League South] for Weston-super-Mare. [Joe] McClennan plays on the flanks and is a good player, they have good players in their squad.

“There’s no doubt that they’ll try and play on the break, with the Tiverton footage and the two other games we have got we’ll definitely watch them. It is the FA Cup and everything points towards Bristol Manor Farm to produce a cup upset.

“There will be a lot of coverage on this game and the key for us is that we work so hard and we have no excuses within the game so no luck comes into it. They have good, young players with experience as well so they are a decent side.

“They’ve only conceded five goals in the league and that’s the thing you look at. They gave Moneyfields a hiding in the FA Trophy, they beat Tiverton who beat Farnborough seven-nil last week at a place where we only won five-nil there. They beat a good side in Tiverton away in the last round of the FA Cup and that’s what this competition is all about, giant-killings. We need to make sure we aren’t one of them.”

Would keeping our performance levels high mean we win this game?

“It’s never that easy. We played a team [Havant & Waterlooville] on Saturday where we played really well in the first half but found ourselves two-one down. Even at higher levels of football like Tottenham, they were better than Bayern [Munich] in the first half and had numerous chances in the first twenty minutes but were behind at half-time and lost seven-two.

“It’s a tough game, it’s a really tough game. There’s just no easy games at any level and in the FA Cup there’s no doubt they’re going to give it their all. It’s a major opportunity for them to cause an upset.”

On earning the right to be in the next round…

“It’s everything. that mentality is everything in this business. You have to earn it, you have to earn your luck and create your own luck. Everyone needs bits of luck but that has to be created through unbelievable hard work. We can do that collectively as a group like we have done for ninety-five percent of our thirteen games in all competitions this season. If we’re reliable, the ability will shine.

On giving the supporters something to cheer about…

“I’d rather give them a victory than a performance. There’s two parts of football, the result and the performance. Within this game, it will be all about the result. We didn’t get the result last week but I was mostly pleased with our performance, this week the result has to be right.

“There’s no doubt there’s going to be drama during the game, they’ll be key moments in the game and there’s always drama within this competition. That’s the magic of it, plenty of our supporters are prepared to go on the bus and travel down to Bristol because this is the FA Cup. It’s not just a normal cup competition, this is the most special competition in the world.”


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