Assistant Manager Paul Maitland gave us his thoughts before our clash with Tiverton Town at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
JB: Do you see this as a key game in the season? Even at a relatively early stage.
PM: Yes I think it probably is because of where the two teams are in the division. Tiverton have made a good start to the season, similarly to ours. We were unlucky at Tiverton earlier on in the season which was frustrating on the night. It’s certainly not season defining for either club but it’s important particularly with Slough coming up on Saturday.
JB: We were very unfortunate to lose down at Tiverton earlier on in the season. Does the manner of the defeat that night give the players any added motivation?
PM: In the first half an hour down there we played some of our best football and if it wasn’t for the keeper and some good defending, we would have come home with something so yes we will be trying to put that right in this game.
JB: Do you feel that the late win on Saturday should give the players a boost going into this game?
PM: It gives the players a lift after a few defeats. It’s always good to win at any time of the game. It’s a bit of a trait of this team to win it late on. We weren’t at our best on Saturday but we kept plugging away, we were resolute when we needed to be again, and our desire was there as it has been for many of the games we’ve won late on this season. Football is 90+ minutes and you don’t have to win the game in the first 5 minutes.
JB: We are currently 4th in the league table. Other teams have games to catch up on already. Obviously we’d be happily still in the cups but do you feel as though the fact that we can put full focus on the league is an advantage for the team?
PM: I think cup runs are great as they generate income for the club but they do also provide teams with more games and dilemmas as a result. I think that when it comes to cup games and playing lots of games in a short space of time, that you have to mindful of looking after the players. We have quite a small squad and we’ve had injuries so we have to make some difficult decisions at times and at times with some, these decisions aren’t popular. I think due to our start to the season, the league has obviously become more and more of a priority.