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Brian Caffarey - 15th October 2007

I spoke to Frank Gray briefly this afternoon to get his reactions to Saturday?s defeat by York City and to check on the position re Paul Hakim, whose loan from Stevenage expired at the weekend.

First, Frank confirmed that Paul had returned to Stevenage. Frank made it clear that he would have liked to have extended the loan but the financial position ruled this out. He thanked Paul for his services to the Club.

Turning to Saturday, Frank agreed that it had been a disappointing result. ?Things like this are going to happen from time to time. The important thing is to learn the lessons. We lost on Saturday because of costly individual mistakes. The first goal arose because we didn?t close down properly in midfield. The second was clearly a goalkeeping error, although Nick was unlucky in slipping at the crucial moment. Arguably, he should have played safe and got rid of the ball instead of trying to control it. And the third goal was down to poor marking. I felt confident at half-time, even though we were 1-0 down: I thought we had begun to get on top before half-time. But the second goal, four minutes into the second half, effectively killed the game off.?

Frank agreed that reaction to the midweek game against Stevenage might have had something to do with the disappointing display. ?I guess that could have been partly the problem: it was a tough game physically and it?s interesting to see that Stevenage lost too at the weekend, but I?m not using that as an excuse. The players were very disappointed with their performance ? which is a good sign ? and we all know we?ve simply got to bounce back next Saturday at Oxford. That?s obviously another tough game ? they?re all tough in this league ? but we?ve been away to Stevenage and performed well, so there?s no reason why we can?t do so again.?

Frank confirmed that the absence of Liam Marum from the substitutes? bench on Saturday did not imply that there had been any setback in his recovery from injury: ?It was simply that Paul was available again, and Liam has obviously got a lot of ground to make up in terms of fitness, having missed the whole season so far.? The news of Tom Hutchinson is good too: ?He trained hard on Saturday and should be fit for the trip to Oxford.?

Frank was pleased with the FA Cup draw, at home to Staines Town. ?We?re at home to a club from a lower league, so you can?t ask for more than that. But we know Staines are going well, so we won?t be underestimating them.?

Brian Caffarey
15 October 2007
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