Daniel Howell: We welcome Darlington to the Bob Lucas in the FA Trophy Fourth Round today, how do you feel going into the fixture?
Brian Stock: It’s an opportunity for us to progress into the next round. The most important thing when it comes to this competition, especially with the situation with Covid, was to be at home. It’s a long trip for Darlington to come for a cup game. We are going into the game today to try and win the game and get into the next round. It’s not going to be easy, Darlington are in a similar position to us where they have had an up and down season they too will be trying to win the game given the fact we are getting closer to the final and there is a lot of money at stake for the club to earn as well.
Daniel Howell: You mentioned following the Yeovil game that they came out stronger than you and were more up for the occasion, has there been any change in preparations for Saturday’s game to make sure you are ready from the start?
Brian Stock: We were very disappointed with the opening 20 minutes against Yeovil. They came out the blocks and I have never seen them, from what I’ve seen, start as well as they did against us. It gave us an up hill mountain to climb. The pleasing thing for me, especially at half time, was the message to not chuck in the towel and keep going to the end which they did. It was a disappointing result we all know that especially with it being a local derby. It’s something that having since had the game called off against Dover gave us time to assess the squad and look at one or two targets to come in and strengthen. It also enabled us to utilise the opportunity to have an analysis session where we looked at a number of things including restarts, kick offs, last 5 minutes, first 5 minutes which is where we have conceded a few goals which has given us an opportunity to concentrate and correct one or two things and hopefully that will help us turn defeats into draws and draws into wins.
Daniel Howell: Brennan Camp mentioned that they want a response following last Tuesday’s defeat, have you noticed a change in attitude within the squad?
Brian Stock: I don’t think there has been a difference in attitude. I think the attitude of every single one this season has been spot on. Sometimes things don’t work your way when it comes to performance but when I look around the changing room and I look at the input and how much it means to the players I know their attitude is good. The majority of the squad have experienced a lot of success recently and they don’t want that to fade away without a fight. We have had a lot of contact time this week, it has been really good to work on one or two things. Yes we will get a reaction but I feel we have had a reaction in most games, especially after disappointments. We’ve just come up short and there are one or two things letting us down which we need to make sure we remember those things and correct them or improve them and hopefully we won’t need to score two or three goals to win a game of football.
Daniel Howell: Some players within the squad have been with the club since we were in the Southern League, how do you feel they have coped with the step up to the National League Premier after the first 16 games?
Brian Stock: I think it’s been a difficult transition. I’ve done it myself as a player before and when you come up against full time teams the contact time we’re missing out, whether it’s a recovery session or a top up on fitness comes at a premium for someone like Weymouth so it’s been tough on that side of things. Fitness as well as the Covid situation has had a big impact especially for the four or five games after that. For a part time team to suffer that many cases to that many players at the same time, it hit us for six. I think that all the players that have made the progression from that league to where they are now can compete at this level. Technically I think they are very, very good but just collectively as a team, especially if it’s a Tuesday night game for those players who have come from the Southern League and who have jobs, struggle with fitness going into games.
Daniel Howell: We found out during the week that our trip to Solihull has been postponed, did that impact the decision making ahead of tomorrow knowing we don’t have a game Tuesday?
Brian Stock: No not really. I never look ahead in terms of preparing for games, especially Solihull next week, our main focus is 100% on Darlington and we will field the strongest team we can. We haven’t played for a while so the lads should be fresh with one or two players coming back from injury we look to have a strong squad to chose from compared to what we’ve had over the last month. It’s been very much patched up and we’ve even struggled to field a subs bench so we will go into the Darlington game 100% focused on getting to the next round. Hopefully that will then be our kick start to go into the following Saturday against Hartlepool at home and start to string together that winning mentality and few results.
Daniel Howell: We saw the arrivals of Dominic Revan and Jacob Mensah, were you happy to see those two agree to join? Will we see any further transfer action in the near future?
Brian Stock: I am very pleased, both players I believe are very good signings. They are both young in their careers and they will use this as a platform to propel their career. When you look at Dominic coming from Aston Villa having only last week played against Salah and Mane and done terrifically well. What I love most is his attitude and his dedication to join Weymouth. He had options to go elsewhere but when he listened to what we had planned and the way that the club was heading it was something he felt was beneficial for him to join. Also with Jacob, he had a lot of interest going back a couple of years. He’s got all the attributes, a great attitude and he will be someone who will add pace and height to our back line and he’s got quality on the ball as well. In terms of players incoming, I will never say never. There will definitely be one or two additions when I look at the squad and assess the squad. Defensively we’ve struggled to even field a strong back four with so many injuries meaning one or two filling in. With the likes of Ade and Miles not being able to fulfil many fixtures it has left us light in that area so that was the main concentration. Moving forward we will probably add one or two attacking players as well.