David Oldfield spoke with Dorset Echo’s Neil Walton following Tuesday night’s friendly with Bridport.
On the performance of Bridport: “I thought they were excellent, I thought their manner, attitude and the way they wanted to play was excellent and their future is bright. It was a really good workout against a really good team, Bridport made us feel very welcome here as well so it was great.”
On our performance: “I thought our attitude and manner was good, I felt we had to work hard and we are deep into pre-season and we’ve managed to score some goals, but the important thing for me and for us is our attitude and our willingness to do the work. I felt that were some really good things in there. It’s our second pre-season game, and it’s great to do well, but we want to keep our feet firmly on the ground and we move forward.”
On any changes from Saturday’s game: “We didn’t make any tactical tweaks, we wanted to get as many players out there from the start. It was just a case of trying to see some of the boys that have worked really hard and trying to earn a deal. And for those who are fortunate to have a deal, it’s a case of making sure their standard is as high as it can be.”
On the performance of the trialists: “I felt that they joined into the group well, I saw application and endeavour that you would absolutely hope for and probably expect, but there was some good qualities too. We need to make sure that we want to be fair to the Trialist boys, we don’t want to keep people here that may lose opportunities elsewhere unless we’re absolutely serious on them. The ball is firmly in their court, we’re very appreciative of them coming in and for us to have a look at them and crucially for them to look at us and we need to make sure we go forward on that.”
On the warm conditions and on any potential injuries: “One of the trialists picked up a little injury which was unfortunate, the other boys, touchwood, hopefully have come through. We’ve had a good couple of sessions in terms of getting work into them and then cumulating that with the performance tonight, so it’s been a decent few days. But we do need to be mindful of the loading around it and that’s where we managed to make the subs. It was also great to have two or three young lads within the group as well from the U23’s and really trying to show the young lads but also the young women/girls on their team that there is a pathway in and we’re trying to pay attention to that.”
On using the U23’s in the squad: “We lost a lot of players and there were some under contract that were allowed to leave so we were definitely down on numbers. When that happens, there’s an opportunity that arises, but the boys have to be good enough, I think that’s the point. We’re finding out more about them now, but we really do have to try and step up and affect the group which is tricky. But it’s great to see them and to give them that opportunity and I think that’s something we’ll be conscious of. Whether we can do it or not remains to be seen, but we’re certainly open-minded to it and paying attention to that pathway.”
On Saturday’s trip to Poole: “They’re a good side, they’ve got big ambitions and are strong, so we’re well aware of that. We know it’s going to be a very competitive game. Poole will see us as an opportunity to get their work in, so it will be a good test. I think, whatever happens, we’re not particularly interested in the result, but we know we have to be ready for a big challenge and we look forward to that.”