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Dean Brennan's Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of Wealdstone’s FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round tie at Maidenhead United on Saturday afternoon, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Dean Brennan to gather the manager’s thoughts ahead of our visit to York Road.

Squad update…

“Kavan [Cotter] is ok, we hope he’ll be back training with us next week. [Ryan] Sellers has done a bit this week and once he’s back to full fitness, he’ll be back training.

“We’re hoping [Jake] Sheppard will be in full training tomorrow [Thursday] which will be a positive. Hopefully he’ll be available for selection on We’re starting to get people back now and the squad is getting a bit stronger.

“Reece [Beckles-Richards] is going back out [on loan], they [Oxford City] wanted to take him for another month and Reece wanted to play. It made sense so he could develop more and get more experience playing at this level.”

On Maidenhead United…

“We’re looking forward to it, it’s a great competition full of magic and it’s going to be a good game, two good sides will be playing against each other. Dev’s [Alan Devonshire] are physical and very well organised, we’re going to have to be at our best to get something out of the game.

“This is the level we want to be competing with week-in-week-out hopefully in the next few years. It’s a good test for the football club and a good test for the players as well, it’s an occasion we can’t wait to get going.”

On the prospect of reaching the First Round…

“It’s very difficult to get there for some clubs and you need a lot of luck. It’s difficult to get to the First Round Proper if you aren’t a National League side, we have to win three games to get there. There’s other clubs that have to win fourth, five or six games to get there, you need luck in the draw because there are teams from the same league playing each other.

“The competition brings out the best in everybody so hopefully we’re on the right end of the result this weekend.”

On the importance of good form going into Saturday…

“In the cup, it’s all about the result. I’d rather play rubbish and win in the cup whereas the league is different, you want to see the right signs and formulas. You’ve got to create luck and earn luck in this competition, even in the last round we missed a penalty in the first game and we scored just before half-time in the second game when we needed to get the job done.

“Hopefully we can create our own good luck and we keep playing how we have been, we’ve been playing well against Bristol [Manor Farm] and last Saturday [at Chelmsford City] and technical players showed the ugly side of the game and were physical. I can’t wait to get going [on Saturday] really, we’re really looking forward to the game.”

On the similarities Maidenhead United and Chelmsford City share…

“They are both physical sides but I would say Rod [Stringer’s Chelmsford] is a bit more physical. Dev [Alan Devonshire] used to play with a target man, I’m not sure he has one available.

“They are quite similar though, Maidenhead have changed their formation a couple of times this year, sometimes four-four-two [and] sometimes four-three-three. It will be interesting to see how they line-up against us.

“What’s important for us is that we keep doing what we do. We need to make sure that we impose ourselves on the game and our midfielders set a similar standard that we set last Saturday [at Chelmsford City].

“We have to keep the same mentality, keep the same togetherness and keep the focus of one-game at a time. We need to make sure we give our all, if we give our all then there’s no doubt we’ll get our opportunity in the game.”

On new signing Ashley Charles…

“He makes the squad more competitive, he’s at the football club for the right reasons. He found himself in a position where he was without a club after being released by Watford, I like him because he’s got good speed and he’s a defence-minded player. You can never have too many of those type of reliable players within the team.

“Hopefully he’ll get more minutes as the season goes on but at the moment, there’s a lot of competition in the midfield department. Connor Smith is back available, [Jacob] Mendy is back available so apart from [Jake] Sheppard, [Ryan] Sellers and Northy [Jonathan North] who’s out on loan, we will have a full strength squad.”

On preparations…

“We have really healthy competition for places. Training was really energetic and competitive last night [Tuesday] and we expect the same again tomorrow [Thursday] night. I can see that the lads really want to get themselves into the team.

“We knew Sanchez [Watt] would play against Chelmsford so we only gave him thirty minutes on Tuesday night [at training] because he hasn’t played for a while and he played seventy minutes against Chelmsford. Sanchez [Watt] is a top player and he will have a big say within this season. Hopefully he can build himself up and get some goals because he’s a very experienced and reliable player, we’re delighted he’s back in the fold.

“It’s healthy competition for places and that’s what you need to bring success.”


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