8:44am, Wed 5th Aug 2009
I spoke to Graham Baker early this morning as he got ready to head off for a paintballing session with his players!
The main news is that the Peter Vincenti loan deal is off, and that weâ€™ve got two players (Harry Arter and Ricky Anane) doubtful for Saturday (in addition, of course, to Jon Boardman and Jerome Maledon).
I asked Graham if he was at all disappointed with the teamâ€™s performance in the 4-0 defeat on Monday night. â€œNot reallyâ€�, said Graham, â€œit was an experimental evening for us. I had two different sides out, partly to protect the players who are in mind for Saturday. It was a very young side in the first half. You can get away with having a few young inexperienced players in a side but not six or seven. I expected us after the break to create more chances and put more pressure on Southampton and thatâ€™s what we did. We should have scored but didnâ€™t. At the other end, with Ricky Anane missing, we experimented with three at the back and that contributed to the two goals conceded in the second half.â€�
Graham was very happy with last nightâ€™s display against Westfield. â€œWe had a very young side out and it was great experience for them, although a few of the players have probably played a bit too much during the pre-season phase. It was good to see Charlie Moone and Ade Adetunji score two fine goals.â€�
PETER VINCENTI LOAN
Graham said that he had spoken to Graham Westley, Stevenage Boroughâ€™s manager, last night about Peter Vincentiâ€™s loan. â€œItâ€™s dead in the waterâ€�, said Graham. â€œStevenage donâ€™t feel that they can afford to release him at present. Itâ€™s possible that we might look at this again later in the season depending how things go but, for the time being at least, the whole thing is off.â€�
Graham also passed on the news that he has decided not to offer a contract to Rodney Chiweshe. â€œIâ€™ve not seen anyone better than Ross and I canâ€™t afford in any case to have a contracted keeper on the bench who might not be needed. Matt Pegler will be named on the substitutesâ€™ bench and, if I need to, I will bring in an emergency loan keeper. Mark Scott [the Swindon Town keeper who appeared in the first half against Southampton] would be in the reckoning if that happened.â€�
Graham says that Harry Arter and Ricky Anane are carrying injuries and are doubtful for Saturdayâ€™s game at Welling. He will monitor their fitness during the next couple of days before making a final decision on his line-up.
Jon Boardman has had an operation for his groin injury, which went well, and Jerome Maledon is now recovering well from his injury and has started light training.
5 August 2009
Look out for a full interview with Graham in Tuesdayâ€™s matchday programme.