Aldershot Town continue their season in the 2021/22 Vanarama National League against Southend United today with a 7:45pm kick-off.
Read what First-Team Manager Danny Searle had to say in full:
Q: Danny, Southend on Tuesday, what’s your thoughts ahead of the game?
“I think we need to reward what’s actually been some very good performances recently with some points.
“In fact, I’m not even worried if the performance is good, we just need to get some points on the board and give these lads some breathing space, because to be honest with you, the efforts especially in the last two games, I think the efforts have been superb from the lads and some of the little bits of bad luck that have kind of gone against us a little bit, we’ve got to take that on the chin and move forward.
“From our perspective, the boys know we are so close to everything falling into place and that needs to be from tomorrow night against Southend.”
Q: When you look back at the last few games, we’ve had our spells and everything but to lose the games we have especially recently, it must be the most frustrating thing from you
“It is tough because we’ve played five games, four of the five against those in the top six and no one’s battered us.
“No one’s run all over us and had an easy win against us and actually I’d argue in some of those games, if we’d have been a bit more clinical and a bit more decisive in what we’re doing, we could’ve come out with more than what we’ve got.
“So it is frustrating and I understand the fans’ frustration and we’ve lost five games in a row and it doesn’t look good and I think from our perspective, I can guarantee we are more frustrated than they are because we’re working really to ensure we’re set up right and I think especially in the last two games, we’ve set up exactly how we wanted to.
“You look at the second goal that wins the game on Saturday (against Solihull), if that got played 1000 times again, that would never happen again.
“That our centre-half wins the header cleanly and it bounces off the knee of one of our midfielders and puts their centre-forward through on goal and what I’ve said to the boys today is unfortunately, where you are where we are, those things do go against you and listen we can’t control that, so forget about that and let’s prepare like those things are going to happen against us and lets eradicate other mistakes we can control and they understand that and one things that’s for sure, regardless of win, lose or draw, the boys are putting up a fight and they’re not going to go down without any kind of resistance.
“They’re rolling their sleeves up and we had a good meeting today, good conversation, training will be good and we’ll be ready.
Q: Saturday also saw the likes of George (Fowler), Mo (Bettamer), Wass (Aouachria) also get his first start and Mo back and build match fitness, how are they doing and how is Kev (Lokko) doing following the warm-up injury?
“Kev will not be available. Obviously that was a big blow losing him in the warm-up and I don’t think people understand sometimes when you’ve got a squad of our size, the only way we get our players fit is by playing them.
“We had two players play on Saturday and could only do a maximum of 45 minutes and both of them to be honest with you, were probably spent after 30 of those 45 and that’s where we are.
“We’re not using it as an excuse because that’s the facts but we don’t seem to get any understanding that actually, has anyone actually looked at how many first-team players we’ve actually got compared to the rest of the league?
“The performances are getting there and I genuinely think as I’ve maintained, we’re not far away and it might sound like I’m coming out with a bit of an attitude with it. But I am, I’m coming out with a bit of a fighting attitude, because some of these boys are getting stick they don’t deserve.
“Aim it at me, no problem that’s fine. But not the players, the players are giving everything they’ve got and I think from my perspective, when the tide turns, which I believe will be very very soon, everyone will be looking back thinking, maybe we were a bit harsh on them at the start because they’ve deserved more than what they’ve got.
“As I said, it’s not about me, it’s not about Anwar, not about Koops, it’s not about the staff, not about the board, it’s about the players, they’ve deserved more than what they’ve got so far and I genuinely think they are going to start getting what they deserve and everyone will be looking back thinking it was a tough start but do you know what, credit to the boys.”
Q: Tuesday sees us play a recently-relegated Southend United, a team that Aldershot’s got a bit of history with, what are you expecting from them?
“This is a club that when I was growing up, they were on the brink of being in the top division of the league, plans for a 40,000-seater stadium to be built and it’s quite sad really to see them where they are now because they’ve had such a rich history of league football.
“It’s just another massive challenge for us, you’re playing against a sleeping giant of some sorts, albeit a short period of time sleeping, but they’re a massive club but you know what, we’ve watched their footage just like we’ve watched everyone else’s footage and we’re not frightened of them and we’ll go into the game expecting to get something from the fixture.”