Boss reacts to game at Dover.
Assessment of pre-season so far…
The first few weeks are all about physicality and minutes. Folkestone and Dover, with all due respect, we use them for what we need minutes-wise. It doesn’t matter if it’s Folkestone, Dover or Real Madrid; it’s just about completing the minutes at the right times. The majority of the lads have done that, and that’s the absolute priority.
The lads are in good shape and have trained really well. It’s a great spirit, and we’ve got really good boys. At the moment, we’re filling the team with lads that are coming in to impress us, and young lads that we know can play well for five minutes and not so well for the other 85 in a game. The sooner we form the core of the group and limit the minutes to players that don’t warrant being out there at the moment because of what they’ve achieved so far, then we will be in much better shape.
On Ash Maynard-Brewer- It looks like a dislocated shoulder. It looks like it’s popped out and popped back in again, so he will have to have a scan on that and probably an x-ray. We will then have to judge it there.
On Max Ehmer- It was his back. Max just back to being on hard ground with lots of physical distance to cover with pre-season. If it had been a league game, Max would have played. However, with pre-season, it’s just not worth it.
Alex MacDonald’s return to action…
That’s probably the real positive of the day, to see Macca back on the football pitch again. It’s been tough for Macca, but he’s still got a long way to go. He’s still physically a long way off the lads and where he wants to be at. He’s completed most of the sessions, and we’re managing his sessions and workload to the best we can.
It was great to see him back out there for 30 minutes today. It will give him real confidence in his ability to be able to complete minutes.
On Elkan Baggott’s debut…
You could see his ability today. He’s a great size, a great shape, a good mover, and excellent on the football. He’s made a little mistake today leading to a goal. Good, eradicate them before the season starts.
I’ve been really pleased with Elkan, and he’s been great. He’s been in for 24 hours, trained yesterday, and played today, so absolutely perfect.
Portsmouth next weekend...
Yeah, what a challenge. Portsmouth were very good at the end of last season when they beat us 3-1, and they’ll be very good this year under Danny Cowley. They’ll be fit from pre-season, and it’ll be a competitive game because they’ll come to win.
It will be an opportunity for the fans in particular to see the new lads that we’ve signed and for the new lads to play in front of the fans for the first time. It’s always nice when you train the whole time and then on the Saturday you go and play on your own pitch in front of the supporters.
There will only be a couple of thousand there next Saturday, but it will be really nice for us all.