There are no second chances in a cup game - Interview with Bobby Wilkinson

Bobby, commiserations following Tuesday. It was certainly a game where we had our chances, although is it fair to say it was always going to be difficult to get a result following Torquay’s early goal?

It was a hell of a free-kick. You’re climbing a mountain, aren’t you? If you go 1-0 down against a team who are one of the favourites to get promoted, then it’s always an uphill task from there. We had a lot of chances, in fairness, although they took theirs. That was the difference in the end.

I suppose the loss was all the more frustrating by the fact that for much of the game we held our own and were ultimately undone by some brilliant strikes.

We did play some entertaining football in the first and second half, but when it’s 2-1, you need to kick on and make it all-square, so it wasn’t an easy defeat to take. We were disappointed that we didn’t take our chances. But, that’s something we can work on.

It looked like the boys were playing on a heavy pitch on Tuesday,  and both sides appeared affected. How have the lads been getting on since then?

We recovered and trained well last night. We’re very pleased that we got Brandon through training after he came off on Tuesday.  It’s really important that we recover quickly and move on from the next game as we’re in such a daunting league. Right down we’re just dusting ourselves down for Hendon away.

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom, though, with our fixture at Hendon tomorrow. We’re now in the third round of the FA Trophy. We’re on a good run in this competition. How important is that to keep it going?

We’ve got a good opportunity to win, and they would say the exact same about us. In these competitions, that’s all teams even want to do, so we must go there, be professional and do whatever it takes to get into the next round. We’ll be at a tough ground tomorrow against a good team, so we know we have a big challenge ahead of us. Let’s be in the hat on Monday!

One thing I’ve felt this season with cup games is that an exciting side to our players is on display in terms of a “never say die attitude.” Are there any particular things the lads are reminded of going into cup fixtures?

You don’t get a second opportunity, so you’ve got to go out with a mindset where you believe you can get into the next round. It’s crucial that we carry on that momentum, because it’s key for the club. A win can help bring more money for the club and it’s our way of giving back.

One thing often spoken about cup competitions is its “magic.” From your experience, what do you think separates these cup competitions from regular league games?

The key thing is that it takes a bit of pressure off the league. Although, don’t get me wrong, there is pressure in this cup, and going to an away ground where you need to win on the day won’t be easy.

Tom said this week that a win at Hendon would be “another step forward.” Is this how the lads are approaching this season? Gradual steps towards the future?

That’s it. We’re taking it step-by-step, week-by-week. Nothing changes for us; we’re staying positive. We might not always get the results we want, but we’re getting better and better. The boys are giving a lot of commitment and desire. They’re playing with a smile on their face.

As always, what has been the key message going into tomorrow’s game?

There are no second chances in a cup game. There’s an opportunity to be in the next round.

Interview by
Jack Webb

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