Ahead of tonight’s game at home to Truro City, we spoke to Bobby Wilkinson, who talked about Saturday’s FA Trophy win, alongside the importance of winning back-to-back games.
Saturday, what a game that was. You must still be exhausted from watching it? How did it feel to see us go through in the end?
It was brilliant to go through. When it’s a cup competition, you don’t care whether it’s boring or entertaining, as long as you get to the next round. But, this game was so end-to-end it was like a basketball match. Unbelievable. It was a big credit to the boys, the way they stood up and took their penalties.
We were absolutely electric going forward. It seems like all of our forwards have been in great form lately. You spoke earlier this season about being confident that the goals will come. How pleased were you to see it all come together on Saturday?
I’m really pleased that our forwards are scoring. All of them at the moment seem like they’re starting to get more confident in front of goal. The competition between them is good.
You know who you bring to the club, so you believe that the goals will come when the time is right.
Of course we’re now through to the third round of the FA Trophy. Not just in terms of possibly winning a trophy, but also in terms of things like finance, how important are cup competitions like these?
The cup competitions are very important to the football club. This round was a tricky away tie at Dover, but I’m glad that by winning I can give something back to the club. That is vital, as I know where we were a year ago with finance, so I’m pleased that we’re chipping away at that finance and trying to stay stable long-term.
Our next game is up against Truro, who are a good side with a very solid defensive record. What sort of challenges do the players need to be prepared for tonight?
To start with, our challenge is to win on a Tuesday night. It’s also important to win back-to-back, as that breeds confidence. We would like to pick up where we left off last Saturday.
Truro are below us, but they’ve got very good players. We’ve dont a lot of work on them, but mainly we’re just looking forward to playing them as they’re our next opponents.
Points wise there isn’t much to separate us, which suggests that it could be a tough game. With the points tally being so close between two good sides like us, does this show just how tough this league is?
100 per cent. This just shows how tough this league is. Tonight won’t define our season, but if we win it will give us a bit of breathing space from [the teams below].
When you’re playing the teams around you, it’s important to pick up points. Last year was difficult when we struggled to pick up points against the bottom sides. We would like to change that tonight and get three points.
With this game being so soon after Saturday, is it fair to say that this is a great time for the players to come up against Truro, with that cup win still being fresh in their mind?
Yeah. The last two or so weeks the lads are getting more and more confident. I’m seeing something different with this group. I can see what we’re building, and once we start turning those draws into wins it will start to look so much better.
I spoke to Ant [Cheshire], who said that even though he scored the winning penalty, he was disappointed we didn’t win in regular time. Is this the type of mentality that you’re drilling into the players? The idea that there is always room for improvement?
That’s something we speak about a lot. Some of the lads have worked with me long enough that they know my standards and what I expect us to achieve. Ant is fantastic to work with. He stepped up to take the winning penalty, so that showed [his character] straight away.
We were disappointed not to win in 90 minutes, but if we flip it and think that we could have shied away from those penalties after conceding in the last minute, that brings a lot more confidence. These are the characters I want around me.
So for you was it the belief and confidence that helpedus stay in, and eventually win, the game?
There’s a lot of belief within this group of players. We’ve never not had that belief. We’ve just had to endure some challenges, as every club has to.
But, we don’t lie down or give up. We take on every challenge.
Could we get a result three games on the bounce now?
As always, what has been the key message going into tomorrow’s game?
Stay positive and keep believing. That will never change because the more you stay positive, the more that breeds success. Even through hard times, you’ve got to stay positive and believe that the tide will turn.