Dean Brennan's Pre-Match Thoughts
Wealdstone begin their busy Christmas period with the visit of Welling United on Saturday afternoon; Dec O’Reilly spoke to Dean Brennan to gather the manager’s thoughts ahead of hosting the Wings.
“Kav [Kavan Cotter] and Ryan [Sellers] will both be going on loan for a month which will be announced later this week.
“They are having a pre-season within the season basically and it’s great for both clubs because we need these lads out playing. They’ve got through everything they need to and it’s game time now for them.
“We’re delighted the boys are back and hopefully, they’ll be available for selection for us in a month’s time.
“George [McLennan] had his operation and his screws out now, he’s seeing a specialist and hopefully he can start his rehab really soon. We’ll be delighted to have him back in the New Year.
“On the injury-front, things are looking brighter before going into an absolutely manic schedule of six games in seventeen days, but it’s an exciting time of year.”
On Welling United…
“We saw them play at Yeovil last Saturday, [it was a] bit of a journey but I enjoyed the game. Yeovil are a good side and they penetrated Welling in attack; in the cup competitions you need the luck and it didn’t go for Welling, however, we know they [Welling] are a good side.
“They gave us a good game in September, I remember their performance was better than ours in the first half and we showed good character to keep it at nil-nil. We had a twenty-minute period in the second half where we were clinical and get a two-goal lead.
“They have a couple of players that I used to manage, Moses Emmanuel [and] Adam Coombes who are top players in this division, if not, the division above.
“It’s a strong side with good experience, the manager [Mark Goldberg] has been there, done it [and] got the t-shirt. He’s won this division as Bromley manager, we’ve got a lot of respect for them.
“Their league position [16th] doesn’t reflect their league performances, they don’t have the point’s total that their performances deserve. We’ve watched a lot of their games this week and they are a very good side, they had only lost once since October before the Yeovil game.”
On the Christmas period…
“It’s another challenge we are really looking forward to, I get excited at this time of year because it’s such a brilliant time in British football with games on every day. It’s one of the most special parts of the British game.
“The schedule reminds me of the one we had in August and early September when we had eleven games within a six-week period. You do have plans in your head and look forward a little bit but it’s important we take it one game at a time like we have been all season.
“The players have to be honest [with us]. If they have niggles or injuries, our players have to be honest [because] we need to know because we need everybody going into these games fully fit.
“We’ve got a strong squad, we’re happy with the squad we’ve got and within our squad, different players will play at different time because players will pick up injuries and fatigue.
“Everyone [in the squad] is going to be needed, the challenge will be getting the selection right and the majority of this season we have got that right. This period is another challenge for us as a management team and one we’re looking forward to. It’s so exciting to go into this period in the position we are in.”
On pushing forward during this period…
“The lads know the point’s total we’ve set, we spoke about it in the first team meeting we had at this football club. We know everyone will be needed and will all have to be in it together. I think the lads that came out of the team have shown a good reaction, their work rates and their togetherness have been good.
“They’ll be disappointed of course, the lads that have come out have played the majority of the season. I felt, as a manager, we were conceding too many goals and it was something I could see happening. I felt that I’ve been fair with selection, we haven’t conceded in the last three games but we conceded five goals in the two games before.
“I could also see teams creating more chances against us; looking at the last three games we’ve only conceded two clear chances, that’s impressive. We’ve showed we can do the other side of the game, some of the lads that weren’t in the team stayed patient and are now in the side.
“Football can change very quickly, the main thing for us is sticking together, taking it one game at a time and keep working our socks off. In the last three games, we’ve ran all over the opposition, made more tackles than the opposition and made more tackles in the oppositions half. Being hard to play against is how we want to be.
“We know we’ve got the ability but without the reliability, ability will never shine. The players have shown that reliability in the last few games.”