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Dean Brennan's Pre-Match Thoughts

Ahead of Wealdstone’s National League South fixture at Dorking Wanderers on Saturday afternoon, Dec O’Reilly spoke to Dean Brennan to gather the manager’s thoughts ahead of our visit to Meadowbank.

Squad update…

“Ross [Lafayette] will be out for two-to-three weeks with a calf strain, he won’t be available this weekend. He’s been out for a week already so in total, it looks like he’ll be out for a month.

“The two lads Billy [Clifford] and Jacob [Mendy] are both suspended.

“We have some more information on [Ryan] Sellers, he’s still got bone bruising so he’ll be back in December, he’s another month away.

“Kavan Cotter is two weeks away from returning.

“Michael Phillips has played with what he thought was a dead quad for the last few weeks. We’ve found out now that it’s a strain to the hip flexor which means he’s out for two-to-three weeks.

“He [Michael Phillips] felt it was a dead leg, played both games against Maidenhead and last weekend [against Tonbridge Angels]. He was seen on Sunday morning which confirmed he’d be out for two-to-three weeks.

“Reece Beckles [-Richards] has been recalled from his loan at Oxford [City]. [With all the injuries] it’s a good opportunity for the lads that haven’t played as regularly as they would have wanted, let’s see if they can step up to the plate.”

On Dorking Wanderers…

“With the resources they have, they should be in the position they’re in. They signed the top goal scorer in the National League South from two season ago, [Jason] Prior, he was promoted with Havant [& Waterlooville] a couple of seasons ago.

“What Marc [White] has done down there has been unbelievable for their football club to take it to what it is now. There’s no doubt they’ll continue to strive and push to the next division, they have that sort of ambition.

“They have a fantastic technical philosophy, they like to play out of the back and they like to play three-five-two. They don’t have a young team, they have a lot of experienced players especially at this level.

“I think they’ve made a good start, it’s always difficult when you come up straight away. They’ve lost the last two games but they will definitely be a wounded animal, so I’m expecting a super-tough game when we go down there.

“There’s no easy games in this division, you look at Tuesday with Maidstone conceding late at Braintree. Welling are one of the better sides we’ve played this year were beat by Slough and will be looking down the table, even though they [Welling] are a good side.

“We’ll have a young side this weekend so it’s a really good test for our squad, we’ll see how strong our squad is and what depth we’ve got.”

On their defeat to Oxford City on Tuesday…

“I’m pretty sure that was only their second defeat at home this season. They’ve won five, lost two and drawn one [at home] so far, so it’s going to be a really tough game.

“We sent a scout to watch on Tuesday [and] there was nothing in the game, it was very tight. Oxford [City] were awarded a penalty and there was nothing in it at that stage of the game.”

On the opportunity provided to other players on Saturday…

“It’s their opportunity, they’ve been chomping at the bit ninety-five percent of the season because my normal selection has been proven to be correct. Now it’s a major opportunity for them, but they’ve got to grab it.

“They’ve been watching from the side [and] stayed patient, so hopefully they can grab the opportunity with both hands. They have to affect the game and we want to come away with the victory.

“Everyone pushing each other is how you create success. If the lads come in and do the business this week [then] they’ll stay in the team, that’s how we want to work. You have to knock your team mate out of the team and that’s the drive we need within the group.

“We’ll see how it goes [on] Saturday, we’ll work on everything on Thursday night. We go again on Saturday and hopefully we can continue to win football matches.”

On the players adapting to the style of the opposition again…

“From playing Maidenhead and Chelmsford, teams that are quite physical and direct, it’s a total contrast [with Dorking]. Marc [White] wants to pass the ball, be technical, overload the midfield, be creative and play through you.

“They are a free-spirited side so it will be a good test, but it’s a total contrast. These are one of the four teams that play on 4G in our division and that makes a big difference.

“I am looking forward to going there, I’ve never managed against Dorking before so we’re looking forward to the game and how the lads in the team take their opportunity.”


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