It’s been a busy time off the field these last few days in sharp contrast to my first few weeks at the club where the games came thick and fast and it was all about what was happening on the pitch.
Having said that, the result at Boreham Wood was pleasing to say the least. I was looking for a response after the two home games and all credit to the boys they put in a very good performance across the 90 minutes. We started the game well and deservedly took the lead. It was a pity to concede but I thought we showed great character to get ourselves back into it and win it.
The formation I know surprised a lot of you – it was dictated by the players we had available but I thought it worked well. Alex and Shieldsy put in a great shift in the wing-back areas and I thought the back three were solid. We didn’t have a lot of time to work with that setup but we went over a few bits on Saturday morning on the tactics board and the boys took it on and carried it out.
Boreham Wood have got some very good attacking players, you can see why they are where they are in the league. They score goals and they’ve got a real attacking menace about them. But I thought the boys put in a superb shift and for the majority of the game kept those attackers at bay.
Since then, we’ve brought in some more good players that want to help take this club where we all want it to be and I’d like to welcome Danny Kedwell, Stuart Lewis and Theo Lewis to the Fleet.
We’ve looked closely at all the boys we’ve signed and they’ve all played non-league football so they know what’s expected and what they’re going to be coming up against. I think that’s not only important, it’s crucial. But we have to hit the ground running in the 17 or so league games we have left. We need to win as many of them as possible to get into the play-offs so we haven’t got a lot of time or the luxury to let the new lads bed in and have a couple of weeks to deal with the environment. They’ve got to start straight away and hopefully we can do that and get the best out of them sooner rather than later.
Getting player deals over the line is something that takes work, particularly if you’re asking them to drop a level or two; until they are signed, sealed and delivered nothing is certain. We’re still looking at a couple and we could have a defender in place fairly soon, but as I say, nothing is certain until the ink is dry!
In all honesty I’d love to say we can close the gap to top spot with the players that we’ve signed but right now we’re not even in a play-off place so I think if we start talking about what’s possible beyond play-offs at this moment in time we’re getting above our station. The first goal is to cement a play-off place. If we get a run of games and manage to catch those above us, great… but the two teams at the top, I think the league is probably theirs to lose as things stand. Right now, we’ve got to think about keeping a bit of consistency and nail a top-five spot.
Looking at today, the Trophy is a good competition. We’ve got a few more players coming back and squad-wise if we can deal with it, it’s a good competition to be in the final of with a Wembley date and the rewards that come with it. Players are returning from injury, we’ve added a few and today will be a good chance for the new players to get a game under their belt and work with each other. It would be brilliant to get us far as we can in the competition without us slipping an inch in the league.
I played against Forest Green Rovers earlier this season in a 1-1 draw at Welling and I’ve got a lot of respect for Ady Pennock and I really like how he works. It’s going to be a really tough game and a good benchmark for our lads. It will serve as a gauge as to where we’re at right now and where we want to be.
Thanks for your continued support and I hope you enjoy the game.