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Priority is the league – Maitland

by: theterras

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WEYMOUTH assistant-manager Paul Maitland is braced for a “big seven days” as his side heads into their latest Evo-Stik Southern League Premier fixture against Hereford at the Bob Lucas Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

The Terras also host Basingstoke in midweek before a trip to Chelmsford City in the FA Cup third qualifying round a week on Saturday.

But while Maitland is preparing for “another tough week”, he admits the league takes priority.

He told Echosport: “The games are coming thick and fast and they don’t get any easier, that’s for certain. We’ve got a very big seven days coming up and we’re obviously fully looking to Hereford first and foremost.

“It’s another tough week and we just have to prepare ourselves as best we can for it and maintain some good form and pick up points. The league is more important than anything else.

“We’re looking forward to Chelmsford but in the mean time we have got to look at the two league games.”

Hereford travel to Weymouth carrying the burden of league title favourites on their shoulders and Maitland believes the “pressure” is on the visitors.

“We’re expecting them to bring a large following. They are a lot of people’s favourites for the league so it’s going to be a very difficult game.

“It’s one that we relish and these are the games that we look forward to. They’re well-fancied and in some ways with that comes a lot of pressure for them.

“Having that big support, and Weymouth have seen that, their expectation level is higher.

“Yes, there’s pressure on us and we’ll be looking to maintain our recent good home form but it’s one that we’re looking forward to and they’re there to be shot down,” he said.

Commenting on Hereford’s attacking prowess, Maitland singled out the “prolific” striker John Mills as a big threat.

“They’re a good side. They’re obviously aiming for promotion. They’ve got aspirations to get back to the football league as quick as they can.

“They’ve got financial power that a lot of clubs in this league don’t possess. I think that undoubtedly gives them an advantage because they’re able to carry players that other clubs in the league can’t.

“We’re wary of their attacking threat. They’ve got John Mills who was prolific last season. They’ve got a good squad of players and whoever they turn out we’ll have to be on our mettle,” he said.

Maitland is also grateful for a week between games, which has allowed the Terras to “work on a few things.”

He said: “It’s given us an opportunity to work on a few things that we found and to look at a few other things.

“We have to make the most of the time we get on the training pitch and we’ve had time to talk about what we need to do to improve.”

Having missed the win over Chippenham Town due to illness, Josh Wakefield is expected to return, but Calvin Brooks is suspended.

Maitland said: “Josh is back to full health so he’ll be back with us this week. Calvin is suspended. Other than that we’re looking alright.

“I think that’s testament to the work that the club’s medical staff do with the players and the pre-hab and re-hab.

“It’s also testament to the way that the players look after themselves. You have to have a professional attitude in a semi-professional environment.”

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