We caught up with Manager Brian Stock ahead of the trip to Wealdstone tomorrow

uptheterras.co.uk: Another quick turnaround after Tuesday night. What are your thoughts ahead of the Wealdstone clash?

Brian Stock: We gave everything on Tuesday night and the lads can walk off that pitch proud of their efforts. Obviously the result was very disappointing and we need to start turning those disappointments into positives and into wins to start climbing that league table. If we were going to look into the game on Tuesday and look at how we started and finished, well that is exactly how I want my team to play and go into games regardless of league position or opposition. Our concentration let us down in a mad 5 minutes and going down to 10 men made our objective that bit harder to achieve. To take the game to Dagenham until the final whistle with 10 men was really pleasing.

We go into the game wanting to try and rectify the three defeats. Wealdstone are a very energetic, free-flowing and attacking side and they have rightly received a lot of plaudits this season. It is a game that I feel will be a good one for the neutrals. We have got one or two things that we’ve been working on throughout the week and hopefully that can translate onto the pitch and we can come away with a result.

uptheterras.co.uk: How is the squad shaping up ahead of the game?

Brian Stock: We are waiting on three or four fitness tests. Playing with 10 men for such a large part of the game on Tuesday obviously takes its toll after the game. For some of the players it was their first 90 minutes in a while. Cam Murray has come off the pitch after being unconscious so he’s going to be out of contention for this weekend. If we have players that aren’t fit then I’m going to go back to something I said right at the start of the season, we are going to need to use every player.

When I brought Zaid Al-Hussaini in, he’s an exciting prospect but another reason he come in was because we needed a boost in terms of numbers and he brings that energy to the side when we most need it. It is a quick turnaround and there isn’t much preparation time for a part-time side to work on the training pitch, especially when five or six of the players need a light session. We have to be very clever and utilise the staff that we have to give the players as much information as possible whilst they are at home.

uptheterras.co.uk: As a manager, you must be constantly looking at ways to improve the squad. On Tuesday night you said there could be a need to bring a couple of faces in. They have to be the right sort of player that will fit in. Is this something you are looking into?

Brian Stock: We are looking and we are looking for the right players to fit certain criteria. We aren’t going to be jumping into any spur of the moment, rushed deals. We have to make sure it’s the right person who fits into the group. We are a part-time side so there are other things we need to consider in terms of what players do elsewhere and what they do for a living.

Although I know my players will give everything they can in a Weymouth shirt, when we are playing 8 games in 23 days, and as the season goes on its only going to get busier, so we need to make sure that we have a good rotation of players. I do like a settled side but sometimes when we are going Saturday/Tuesday, Saturday/Tuesday, the demand of the league and how fit teams are in this league can make a huge difference. Realistically, given the fact we are part-time and most of the players have other commitments elsewhere, these are the sort of things you have to consider when you are looking at recruiting players to come into the squad.

uptheterras.co.uk: It is only 10 games in and you are still relatively new to the job. It has been a challenging start but there have been some positive moments. For some of the players this is their first step at this level. Just how big is the jump from National League South which is predominantly a part-time league to the National League which is a full-time league?

Brain Stock: It is a very demanding league and when you look at the amount of contact time teams have with their players and with their staff, sometimes that can be from 9am-5pm every day so we are behind straight away on that side of things. When it comes to analysis and preparation, that has to be done via phone calls and zoom calls. Although we do everything we can and it has been fantastic, when you look at the amount of time we have together to analyse videos, even when it comes to training, we can’t use classrooms, we aren’t allowed to use changing rooms so information to the players is restricted on that front.

I have experienced this as a player and Weymouth’s promotion was almost a carbon copy of how Havant got promoted 2 years on the spin. We at Havant went into the season full of confidence and the biggest thing I found as a player was the difference in fitness levels and teams being able to go 90-95 minutes and the concentration levels remain. When we come up against teams that are more physical, more organised, that demand for us to be able to keep clean sheets increases. When we look at the goals we’ve scored, we’ve had to work really hard to get them. We have also gifted teams goals on occasions, whether that’s down to naivety or being new to the league remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, we need to learn quickly and we need to understand how important it is to do our jobs and remain focussed until the final whistle. That way we will give ourselves the best opportunity because are a team that has goals within it but if we are giving away 2 or 3 goals then we are giving ourselves a mountain to climb.

The attitude from the players has been spot on and I can’t ask for any more from the lads, they are going beyond what they have done previously. We just need to remain confident. We are going to lose games this season but its important for us as staff and players to remain confident. We have over 100 points to play for, it is very, very early. Normally at this stage, you would have played 18-20 games. It is tough, especially with the Saturday/Tuesday and sometimes you are treating your Thursday night as a recovery session. The knowledge and preparation is key in order to give the team the best possible chance of picking up three points.

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