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The Vanarama Big Interview: Dean Brennan talks about life at the top ahead of ‘crucial period’

League sponsors Vanarama meet up with the Stones manager who has been taking advice from a National League South champion.

Dean Brennan isn’t trying to concern anyone, but he knows there are twists and turns ahead. They are so close he can almost smell them.

“That’s the thing about this league, it has a habit of biting you where it hurts - anyone who thinks we’re in control of things has got to remember that,” he said.

“Yes, we’re in a nice position but I’ve been in and around this division long enough to know it’s ruthless and suddenly things can change.

“Last year Woking led the league for a long, long time then bang Torquay United got their claws into them.

“A few years ago it was Ebbsfleet’s title but Sutton United came from nowhere and nicked it, they were incredible.

“Bromley did the same thing the year they went up as well so that paints a picture but we have a points target in mind. If we reach that target, then it will take a team to have an incredible season to finish in front of us. If they do, fair play.”

Brennan isn’t looking to put a downer on anything, just to keep expectations in check.

“I have managed in this league for seven years straight and I promise you it’s the strongest it has ever been,” he added.

“For a start, you have three full-time clubs operating in it. Even a lot of the clubs who aren’t full-time are well financed. The level of managers is sky high too - John Still, what a legend of the game he is, is on the touchline for Maidstone United!

“I spoke during our cup game with Alan Devonshire, the Maidenhead manager. He’s as experienced as they come so I got in his ear - when someone like that is offering advice, you have got to listen.

“He won this league a few years ago and said it’s a game-by-game thing. Respect the points you do earn, don’t get too high when things are going well and at the same time recover from your set-backs quickly.

“We’re in an unbelievable position but we don’t just want to look back and remember a great first four months.

“We’ve got ourselves into a great situation and we don’t want to waste the great work we have done some far.”

But he knows the side are going through a “bit of challenging time” at the moment - and wants there to be a reaction when Concord Rangers come to town this weekend.

“We haven’t won in our last three games so we need to come together again,” he adds.

“We have got to see character now, it’s not a terrible run by any stretch of the imagination but we need to make sure teams don’t figure us out. We need to put the FA Trophy defeat to Royston to the back of our minds - it was almost criminal how we lost, but it’s about how you react.

“There are ten games between now and the first week of January. We’re about to start a crucial period of the season.”


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