Aldershot Town continue their season in the 2021/22 Vanarama National League against FC Halifax Town on Saturday with a 3pm kick-off.
Read what First-Team Manager Mark Molesley had to say in full:
Q: Mark, first home game of the season for you in front of the home crowd, how are you feeling ahead of the game?
“It’s one of excitement, I’m very much looking forward to get into the ground and get into the atmosphere and like I said, it’ll be a proud moment but one I can’t think about and dwell on too much and it’s full focus on the task at hand.
“It’s a great feeling to be back but, there’s no greater feeling than winning so we’ve got to make sure we’re fully focused on trying to deliver that.”
Q: First full week in training with the boys, how has that been in preparation for the game?
“It’s been great. I was really excited and looking forward to taking on the job.
“I was excited by the players we were taking on and my thoughts haven’t been dampened by what I’ve seen so far and I think so far in a time of transition, it can sometimes be a bit unsettling for players but I think the we they’ve handled it has been fantastic.”
Q: In your first introduction interview you spoke about making Aldershot feared and making it somewhere people don’t want to come to and that message obviously still stands ahead of Saturday’s game
“You know we’ve got to be respectful to the teams we’re playing but we’ve also got to focus on ourselves.
“We need to really create an atmosphere at home, one which teams really don’t enjoy and like I said to the lads, I’m sure the fans will be out in numbers for the game this Saturday to support you and it’s up to us to keep them supporting, keep them cheering for us and keep them coming back.
“We can only do that through hard work, it won’t be through a lack of that I can guarantee, but we are at the very early stages of our tenure and like I said, some real positive signs but the proof is always going to be on the Saturdays and the Tuesday night games.
“Like I said, still in assessment mode, the excitement of being here now is now the realisation is that we’ve got a big challenge ahead of us, but between my staff and the group, we enjoy challenges.”
Q: The message would be to fans there is a project in place, there is a plan in place so just stick with you and everything will hopefully sort itself out
“Definitely, it’s football, there’s going to be ups and downs, trials and tribulations in the world that is football.
“But we’ve got a clear way of working, a clear idea of where we want to take this club, Rome wasn’t built in a day but one thing we’ve got to see from the word ‘go’ and one thing I have seen since I’ve arrived is that hard work, that endeavour and that mentality from the players and if we show that, I know the crowd will match us as well.”
Q: This week has also given you the first chance to look at the players injury-wise, how are they all doing?
“We’ve got one injury of note, Kevin Lokko, he’s made some good progress this week so we’ll have to see how he responds next week as well, as I wouldn’t want to be pushing anyone too early, too soon, you’ve just got to get that balancing act of we want them back without a doubt, but we don’t want to go a day or two too early and then risk losing the work we’ve done already.
“So that’s an ongoing thing and we’ll continue to assess that day-by-day, but the full focus has been on the ones which are available for this Saturday in such a short space of time, so I think the attitude of the boys has been fantastic so far.”
Q: A word on Halifax as they come into the game with a 3-0 win against Stockport, so a big test at home to start your tenure off
“There’s no easy game in this league is obviously the old cliche, but I’m really impressed by Halifax, I’ve got the upmost respect for their manager, he always takes them to the highest reaches of this league, he knows it well.
“They play a good brand of football, got some dangerous players so like I said, we’ll be looking to be respectful and we are respectful in how we work and how we prepare.
“But when it comes to Saturday, we’ve got to remember, we’re Aldershot and we’re a good team as well.”
Q: We come into it with a 2-2 draw against Wealdstone, you’re going to take the positives from that game and take them into Saturday
“Yeah definitely! The boys will be taking great confidence from their last two performances but they’ve got to take that on again and that’s certainly our mantra as we constantly want to keep moving forward.
“We want to constantly keep improving and that’s the way we’ve got to be.
“We’ve got to be brutal with ourselves, the way we assess ourselves, the way we move on but every day, we’ve got to look at whether it’s small marginal gains, but every day we’ve got to be looking to try and get better.
“Sometimes getting better, you’ve got to go through your hardships, but at the moment, we’re certainly looking to make some strides forward.”