Aldershot Town finish their home games for the 2020/21 Vanarama National League against Bromley FC on Saturday afternoon.
Hear what First-Team Manager Danny Searle had to say in full:
Q: Danny first and foremost, congratulations on the new two-year deal! Looking ahead to Saturday, last home game of the season against Bromley, what’s your thoughts ahead of the game?
“Another team that’s looking to be in and around the play-offs come the end of the season, so they’ve got a lot to play for and you’d like to think with our situation, you want them to relax in the sense of being confident with doing what we want them to do. But not relax in the sense of their work ethic.
“I thought Tuesday’s game against Eastleigh, I thought there was times where it was more exhibition football at times! We want to dominate the ball, we want to make good passes with a bit of purpose about it.
“Second-half I thought we did that well but then you concede the goals we did, I’m not going to go over it again because it gives me nightmares! But I think from our perspective, it kind of leads me on to what we’ve just spoke about because I want a full-house in the concept of however many we’re allowed in. Because I want the boys to put on a show so the fans can see how much passion the players have got for the club.
“But also I want the players to see what it’s like playing here in that environment because believe it or not, I know money’s important but I think some of those players if they experience that and I thought the 1,000 or so that were here Tuesday made an unbelievable noise, it was fantastic to see them back but 2,000 or so doing it is another level for people to come out and support the boys and I want the boys to witness what it’s like to really be here and I really think that will help us retain some of these lads.”
Q: Exactly that and with the Covid protocols in place, we do hope to sell-out and have as many fans in the ground as we can
“There is a safety element and there is people still cautious of the fact that there is a virus still out there and no-one understands that more than me.
“However, if people do it properly and do it sensibly, there’s no reason why they can’t all get in and we can get that noise, get that rocking atmosphere that we know these guys (the fans) are capable of and making sure that these boys experience it, so when I’m talking to them (the players), it’s not “oh I need another £50 a week, £100 a week or £200 a week” in some cases, it’s more a case of “are you going to get that? (the atmosphere) where you’re going?”, I know what I’d rather play in front of.
“So hopefully they (the fans) can give us a little bit of a helping hand!”
Q: It’d be a great way to finish off the season at home wouldn’t it?
“Yeah. Look, it’s been a long campaign and we’re all a little bit disappointed with how it’s kind of finished.
“But you can’t take too much credit away from the lads because up until probably Sutton (away), we still had a chance of getting in the play-offs and we’ve been in that position pretty much since December and if you look at where we were last season, I think that’s good progress and that’s all great for the lads.
“In the last two or three games, it’s tough because you’re playing against teams that are either in it (the play-offs) or nearly in it and it puts you under a different kind of pressure.
“But look we’ll take that on the chin and we have to move on, but we’ve got a nucleus of players who if we can get them to stay at the club and we need the supporters for that, to show the players what kind of place this can be for them.
“My selling point to the lads is if we’re sitting in the play-offs and there’s 3,500 people here, play in front of that every week! You’re not going to get that at most other clubs in the league and the noise that our lot make!
“So I kind of I don’t want to say beg as that’s the wrong way of putting it, but yeah please come and show the lads what this place is about because we haven’t had it all season and it’d be great to finish the year like that.”
Q: You mentioned next season there, have plans started for next season yet?
“Plans for next season started in December!
“I know that my situation wasn’t confirmed and I know the league positions and all that is not confirmed, but we have to start planning because we’re trying to build something that needs to keep evolving.
“We can’t keep doing the same things every season and expect different results, we need to modify and slightly adapt what we’re doing and part of the recruitment is looking at players constantly, people who we think will fit OUR club and fit in with what we’re trying to do, so plans have already been underway for a long time.”
Q: Of course we played Bromley on BT a few months ago, difficult one to call because we did so well in the game and to go away with the defeat we did, it didn’t feel like a defeat at the time.
“But that’s the story of our season!
“That is the story of our season, that’s the story of Tuesday against Eastleigh, it was the story against Hartlepool, it was the story of Sutton away that we are more than capable of not just competing with these teams, dominating periods of the games but you have to be ruthless at both ends of the pitch and we’ve made stupid errors.
“Errors that shouldn’t happen and you can argue are un-characteristic of certain individuals, but it’s not what we need to be able to kick-on.
“When people always say “what are you missing?” “What’s the difference between you and a Halifax or a Wrexham?, (barring the budget)”, the difference is it’s not about money. It’s about they don’t make those mistakes, they don’t make them!
“And we as a dressing room and as a staff and as a club, we need to grow quickly and that’ll enable us to bring some players in who will be able to help steady the ship. Help make sure that if one mistake does happen, it’s not followed up by a second and a third, because we are masters of that at the minute!
“There was periods of Tuesday night when we played some outstanding stuff but I don’t think Mitch had a save, other than the three goals, I might be wrong but I don’t actually remember him making a save, a few catches but you can’t concede three goals when a team has had three shots on target, that can’t happen.”
Q: There always seems to be spells in games where we seem to dominate but don’t take the chances on all those occasions, do you think that’s the most frustrating thing for you when you look back on this season?
“To defend the lads, we have slightly changed what we want to do to build for next year and we did pre-warn everyone on that on what we’re going to do and look at different players in different positions. We are going to try and look at some different ideas for next season, so we always knew that was going to be a risk.
“From the pressure perspective, I’ll take that on the chin, that’s on me. That’s not on the lads. The mistakes, we can’t legislate on that.
“For us it’s about building a process where we can dominate the ball as well as we have done but affect the penalty area. You have to affect the penalty area and we didn’t do that well enough in the first-half on Tuesday (against Eastleigh), second-half was much better but also cut out the mistakes at the other end.
“Listen these group of lads have the world at their feet.”
Q: To finish off on Bromley, a 2-2 draw for them against Notts County away so they’ll be a look from them to this game to bounce back with a win
“They’re a good side. They’ve backed their managers, they’ve invested in their squad and secured all their players on long-term deals.
“I think that brings continuity to the team and then you’re only adding two or three here or there and I think that goes for all the teams at the top, they have a nucleus of players who’ve worked through and obviously Woody’s (Andy Woodman) gone in there and he’s got them back in amongst the play-offs, so like I always say, it’s going to be a tough game on Saturday!”