Update From Graham Baker

Brian Caffarey
5:37pm, Wed 22nd Jul 2009
I spoke to Graham this evening to seek his reactions to last night’s friendly against a Fulham XI and for news about tomorrow’s game at Godalming Town.

Graham was very pleased and encouraged by last night’s first half performance: “a huge step up from the performance at Kingstonian�. He thought that it was a good team performance, with some fine individual performances too. That was particularly satisfying, he said, because that line-up largely comprised players on contract. There was no doubt – and the Fulham camp agreed – that we were the better side in the first half. However, two errors – a defensive error for Fulham’s first goal and a goalkeeping error for the second – meant that this wasn’t reflected in the scoreline. Graham said that it was part of the purpose of pre-season games to get that sort of rustiness out of the system.

Graham thought that loan signing Luke Medley had done well on his first appearance, particularly bearing in mind that he had been able to do relatively little training and had also been ill recently. Graham commented that “there was much more to come from him�.

The changes Graham made in the second half inevitably disrupted the side, he said. It was no disrespect to the players concerned but we lost some of our rhythm and shape. Fulham, who delayed most of their changes, took full advantage of this, seized the initiative and ran in two more goals.

Tomorrow night’s side will include some of the trialists seen at Kingstonian and last night but not Donovan Simmonds and Peter Vincenti. (Talks are still taking place with Stevenage Borough about a possible loan signing of the latter but Graham seemed doubtful if agreement would be reached.) Friday’s side against Woking and Maybury Sports Club would comprise younger Academy players. Against AFC Totton Graham plans to play a very similar side to last night’s first half team, with the aim of playing most of them for 90 minutes.

Jerome Maledon is not expected to figure in any of these games, whilst it won’t be clear before tomorrow whether Joe McNerney will be fit enough to play after limping off last night.

Graham still intends to take decisions on all the trialists after Saturday’s game.

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