Commiserations following Saturday. Given our performance in the second half, I suppose it makes the result even more frustrating. How are you and the lads feeling?
That was a tough loss to take, because we had worked so hard during the week to prepare to carry on with our good form. We played well all game and we were caught on a sucker break, so we were a bit frustrated. But, we’ve dusted ourselves down this week and we’re all positive ahead of the next game.
You said yourself after the final whistle that there are games we won’t play as strong on, yet still win. Does this just reflect the harsh realities of this league, where results can be unexpected?
This is actually something we spoke about last week, how solid this league is. There are games we’ve not played well in this season and yet still picked up a result. But, last week, even though it was a loss, we played very well, which shows how much progress we’re starting to make. But, I can’t be too happy with zero points. That was the most frustrating thing.
One thing I would love to talk about is how well we worked our goal, from Harry beating two players to Tom’s run. It really feels like our frontline are starting to gel together, doesn’t it?
The whole group has gelled together. People are looking at the league table, without looking at how much we’re improving every single week. Look at how much we’ve improved this season compared to when it started. This is a project where we’re moving forward. Yes, we’re a long way from where we want to be, but when you look at the unbelievable team goal we scored last week, for example, that isn’t something I think we would have pulled off a couple of months ago.
I came to this club to bring success, and that will happen, but I can’t do that overnight. The key is to just stay positive and keep moving forward.
Calvin said that something he noticed about you and the coaching staff is the intense desire to win. Is this something that you’re trying to get across to the players?
It’s nice that Calvin senses that. As a manager, I try to be as open and honest as possible. I think that was a big part of why we were able to bring our recent loanee players to the club. My players understand the importance of winning. We’re all here to win. The biggest thing for us now is, and this is something that I’ve mentioned a lot of times, turning those draws into wins.
Speaking of loanee players, Joe Cook looks set to stay for another month. How does it feel to have him extend his stay?
This just shows how much he loves playing for this club. I’m really pleased with the way he’s settled in. He’s a National League player, yet he’s with us. We must be doing something right!
We’re now facing Slough at home – they’re in good form. What is it going to take from us to stop them?
They’re not just in good form, they’re in fantastic form. I watched them at Bath this week. I sensed their players knew how to win. This will be a very tough game, as they’re coming to us absolutely flying. But, they don’t realise they’re meeting a very confident side. We picked up five points during the Christmas period. Brandon Goodship is in the form of his life. Leo Hamblin is flying right now. Our forwards are hungry, and our midfield is creating for them.
Last time we faced Slough Town we earned a crucial point with a clean sheet – since we have much of the same backline with additions to our attack. How much of an advantage does this give us?
I don’t think they’re such things as advantages. That’s irrelevant to me. We have Slough – it’s 11 versus 11.
Though we need to make sure our fans are loud and proud. We need to get them off their seats and I want them to understand that we’re doing our best. We need to play exciting football and give ourselves that 12th man. We need to make Slough uncomfortable.
As always, what has been the key message going into Saturday’s game?
The same as last week. It’s about staying focused and driving forward. Can we make sure we’re better than last week?