After a narrow midweek defeat against Halifax Town, Danny Searle’s men return to the EBB Stadium to host Boreham Wood on Saturday.
The loss concluded a fine unbeaten run in the league, but Searle insists his side will approach the fixture with confidence after a solid performance.
Q: Danny, it’s important to bounce back after Tuesday’s defeat, what’s your thoughts ahead of the game on Saturday?
“Yeah, I think we’re all still a little bit confused at how we didn’t get points on Tuesday night,” said the Aldershot Town manager.
“I think probably the worst thing we did was watch it back because then you see how bad the referring decisions were. For me, two penalties and a goal that was scored that was perfectly fine. But look, it is what it is.
“The positive out of it was that we were the better team for large parts of the game. We rode the storm for the first 15 minutes of the game, I thought Halifax were very, very good but we rode that storm.
“There’s a lot of positives to take out of the game. From a selfish perspective, we cannot control the officials, we can only control what we’re doing and we thought we’d done enough to win the game so we’ve got a lot of confidence still going into the game against Boreham Wood on Saturday and you know what, we’ll do what we always do and we’ll go for it hammer and nail.”
Q: One thing we spoke about after the game was being clinical and taking the chances and given the training over today and the last few days, it’s given us a chance to reflect on that.
“It’s hard because I’d argue Harrison was clinical and, at times, all you’re asking people to do is their jobs.
Don’t get me wrong, there was three or four other chances that we should have taken and the game should have been done, but you could argue that about them in the first 15 minutes as well.
It’s those defining moments in games, those key incidents and events that decide whether you get points or not and unfortunately it didn’t go our way on Tuesday.
“But, as I said, the lads have been good in training, the confidence is high because we’re in good form so we’re looking forward to playing Boreham Wood on Saturday.”
Q: Speaking of training, one player who was back in training was Kins, it’s a long time coming, how’s he been and how’s he been like.
“Yeah, look, it’s a process. We can’t run before we can walk.
“There’s still boxes he needs to tick and today and Thursday was massive boxes to be ticked because he’s involved, he’s doing the competitive stuff, he’s not non-contact, he’s full-blown in the session.
“He’s still got fitness stuff that he needs to work on and we just keep on building that process so we can hopefully get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Q: We’ve had players who have been isolating with COVID, we’d probably be starting to expect those players to be making their way back soon?
“George and Rowey are back in.
“Joe Rabbetts is back in so it adds to my numbers in training, which is good because obviously you can get higher levels of intensity out of the sessions. Also, it puts a little bit of pressure on those ones who have been filling those spaces – you’ve got to keep doing your job.
“It’s good, you want players available, you want competition for places, you want people chasing people for starts so that’s a positive all-round.”
Q: It’s exactly that, it’s a competition for places and when someone is not performing, the other person comes in and does a better job.
“At the end of the day, it’s about performance. We want to see players doing their jobs and earning the right to stay on the pitch.
“You don’t really want to be in a situation where, regardless of how a player plays, he’s going to play because we haven’t got anyone else to go in that position.
“We had that at times last season where we had runs of form at times because we didn’t have anyone else to go in, now we’ve got players who can go in.
“And with the boys who are returning, it puts even more pressure on. Pressure is a good thing in my opinion. It’s important to have pressure because it means that it’s worth doing, it means it’s worth something. We look forward to those lads putting those players under the necessary pressure they need to be under and, hopefully, we can kick on.
Q: I’m not going to keep going back to the Halifax game but it did show, the great example of that was when Mo and Ricky came of and Harrison and Chike came on, we scored what we see as a perfectly good goal and it would have made a difference in the game.
“Yeah, and that’s what you want. We’ve spoken about this before with substitutions, whether you start, whether you don’t start and people talk about people getting dropped or being taken out of the team.
“All we do is we try and talk about it as changing their roles. You’re a starter or a finisher. Harrison and Chike were finishers, they were the people to come and finish the game for us.
“They did that against Altrincham, they did that well and they should have done it well against Halifax, albeit from a really poor decision from the officials.”
Q: Looking at Boreham Wood, back at their place, a 3-2 thriller, but what we did show in that game is that we can bounce back from moments of disappointment.
“We let ourselves down in that one. We did all the hard work, even going back to that one, talking about officials.
“The scary thing for me is that we speak more about officials in our post and pre-match analysis more than we do talking about opposition and us. Boreham Wood away, it’s never a penalty and we sent that into the league.
“Mo hasn’t even touched the player and he’s dived for the penalty. It puts you on the backfoot, we obviously had a dipping experience on Tuesday, but we bounced back against Boreham Wood. We got ourselves back to 2-2 and then a stupid mistake, an uncharacterised mistake from us at the end and and they get the winner.
“We’re out for a little bit, I wouldn’t say revenge because it was our fault not theirs, but we do need to right some wrongs against them on Saturday.”
Q: A tough team in the play-offs last season so we’ll hopefully be able to give it a good test.
“You look at our next six games, I suppose from a neutral’s perspective, they’re mouth-watering to be fair because we’re playing against, definitely five of the six, are teams that you expect to be in and around it come the end of the season.
“It’s a great challenge, it’s a good place to be at the minute.”
Q: It’s where we want to be, if we want to get higher in the table, it’s the sort of game we want to play.
“I’m always quite realistic about stuff and not running before we can walk.
“Let’s make sure we get a good stable finish to make progress on what we did last year and then we’ll see where that takes us.
“The most important thing is that we hit that points total that we want internally that means that we’ve made progress and we’ve had success this year. Anything that comes after that is just an added bonus.”
Q: A 2-2 draw for Boreham Wood last time out against Notts County, I’m sure you’ve watched the game.
“At the minute, with the fact that potentially there are no relegations, we just try and focus on ourselves really and what we want to implement and the style of football we want to play.
“Yeah, it was great but we don’t know – Luke might make four changes for Saturday and we’re playing for something that’s not there so we just try and focus on ourselves.”
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