After last Saturday’s victory at home against Wealdstone FC saw the Shot return to winning way, Aldershot Town will look to continue that form away to table-toppers Torquay United on Tuesday evening.
Hear what the gaffer Danny Searle had to say in full:
Q: Danny, back on the road Tuesday with the game against Torquay, what are your thoughts ahead of the game?
“We’ve got a nice little run, we play the top three over the next three or four games, it’ll be a great challenge for the lads and credit to Torquay they’ve been up and around it all season. We go there with relatively good confidence, let’s go and have a go and see if we can upset the apple cart a little bit.”
Q: We go to these higher up the table teams and we seem to put in a good away performance against them.
“There’s been some tough games against the top six or seven and we have to understand that they are where they are for a reason, but as you’ve just alluded to, we don’t need to fear anyone either. If we get things right and we’re disciplined, and we do the right things in the right areas we’re more than a match for anybody. Hopefully the lads can go there and put on a show.”
Q: Just a quick word on the injuries, the latest with Alfy obviously returning back within the next few weeks.
“Alfy is not far away, obviously we’ve got to be a little bit careful, it’s an ankle injury so they’re quite delicate at times, you can feel like you’re alright but then the slightest little twist. He’s making really good progress and hopefully within the next six to ten days he should be back available for selection.”
Q: Just a note on where we are this season, obviously we’re approaching the end of this season but at the start of the season you spoke about wanting to progress and a lot of people will be able to say that they are starting to see that progress now, with where we are and where we are pushing to be this season.
“It’s always a difficult question when people ask what your targets are for this year because as a club, the main focus was to ensure that there was a club at the end of the season and that we didn’t get dragged into the situation that a lot of teams are finding themselves in at the minute, with everything that’s gone on with COVID.
“On the pitch, we didn’t want to make any bald statements, it was just purely steady progress and the lads have done that. We praised them for it this morning, we’ve won more games than we did this time last season, with three games less played this year. We’ve scored more goals, we’ve kept more clean sheets, we’ve got more points, we’ve conceded less goals.
“We’ve done some great doubles over teams, we’ve beat Dagenham twice, Notts County twice and obviously Woking twice. There’s been good progress from the boys and I get people’s frustrations but our objective this year was to finish the season in a better position all round than last year and we’ve already achieved that with seven games to go.”
Q: Of course, we’ve got the Dover game that’s been expunged as well with the 5-0 win away from home so that’s bound to improve the points and tally as well.
“To be fair, with our statistics on what we’ve done with the lads, we’ve kept that in because for us we seem to be the only one who really got affected by it because all of the teams around us either hadn’t played them or lost to them, so it was disappointing that it got taken away.
“I understand why but from our prospective, those boys still worked their socks off for 96-97 minutes, we scored five great goals and kept a clean sheet, so we’ll keep that in our internal ones but even without that, we’re still in a much better position than we were this time last year.”
Q: Torquay, obviously a good result for them at our place but ultimately, it’s a game we look back on with disappointment having gone ahead, then situations that happen during the game, that we really felt that up until that point where Mitch made the mistake, we felt that we can go on and really compete with these teams.
“I thought we were outstanding the first half against them, take away the just before half-time incident. We were the better side and Gary Johnson said to me after the game that they were on the ropes. I think that shows the capabilities, I think the second half also showed some of our vulnerabilities and that’s been the story for quite a few games for us this year.
“With our large spell being very good but then we’ve lapped in concentration or somethings not quite gone our way and it’s ended up affecting us. That’s a part of their development and a part of their learning and when you have young players, you have to take that on the chin a little bit.
It’s frustrating but I Can’t sing their praises enough the boys, take away all the individual errors we’ve made this season, they work really hard to try and be better and they continue to do so.”
Q: Of course, we’ve reached the point where players will either come on or go, will we start to see a few more players be experimented with in different positions and players trialled to see if they can keep their place for next season?
“We’ve got to look at that because we’d be stupid not to do that. The balance is really difficult, I’ve just had two players in my office before this, talking about game time and what not. The balance is really difficult because we still want to be competitive and go on and win games, but we also need to look at certain players in certain positions to see whether they’re capable of sustaining the level of performance that we want. It is tough but that’s our job.”
Q: Torquay go into the game with a 2-2 draw against Notts County, so they’ll be looking to bounce back with a win.
“Yeah, they were 2-0 down and down to ten men, the resilience and determination they showed and the 98th minute they equalised so I think the opposite, I think they’ll be in good spirits knowing that they managed to pick up a point in a game that they probably shouldn’t of.
“I think they’ve won the previous four games before that so it’s going to be a very tough place to go which we’ve already witnessed twice in our two performances there last season, they’re a tough team to place against but we go there with as much optimism as we ever do.”
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