Maynard determined to make sure Stones are in FA Cup hat for next round
Stuart Maynard takes his Wealdstone side to Boreham Wood for the FA Cup tie this afternoon boosted by the return of Ashley Charles, encouraged by the integration of the three new attacking players and determined to make sure the Stones are in the hat for the next round.
Midfield technician Charles has been in sparkling form this season and he missed the 2-1 National League defeat at The Vale last week. He is certain to return in the middle of the park this afternoon while Maynard will make late calls on two others for the Fourth Round Qualifying tie at Meadow Park.
"Charlesy is back from suspension," said Maynard. "Cookie and Max were back in training on Thursday so we'll see how they come through. That's a massive plus and potentially they'll be in the squad, so we're pretty much getting back to full strength. I think we've managed injuries really well this season. We've only had a couple out here and there which has been good. We've managed loads really well so Rachel and Michael are doing a great job with them. We've got to rely on everyone within their departments to do their job and they're doing a great job at the minute."
The manager was brave with his substitutions last week and threw on Giovanni McGregor, Simeon Akinola and Micah Obiero for their debuts with his side 2-0 down and chasing the game. They all made positive contributions and almost turned the game on its head.
"Sims been in training with us for the last three to four weeks and he's progressing really nicely," said Maynard. "He got his goal and could have had a hat trick. He's got that natural movement of a striker that we've been looking to add to this the squad. He's someone who just wants to score goals.
"Gio come on and he fitted right into the team. He's a technical player and you'd think he'd been with us for the last two or three seasons. He was excellent. Micah been in and out of Boston's team and he's a player we tried to sign from Huddersfield in the summer. It just didn't quite happen for whatever reason. He's come in and he's fitting in really well. He can go one-on-one, he can make things happen for us so it's really exciting to be working with a group."
Maynard did brilliantly to navigate the Stones up to 16th in the National League last season but the FA Cup defeat at home to Dagenham & Redbridge still rankles with him and he wants to put that right today.
"We know what's on this game," he said. "We want to have a good cup fun for the fans and the football club. We know how important the finances are for us, but a cup run for the fans is what dreams are made of. The thought of a big draw in the first-round proper is big, so first and foremost we've got to make sure we are in the hat, whether that's with a draw or whether that's a win. We've got to make sure we're in the hat."
* Pictures by Mike Renny