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Brian Caffarey - 28th December 2007


I spoke to Frank Gray this (Friday) morning to seek his reactions to Boxing Day?s defeat at the hands of Aldershot Town and an update before tomorrow?s game against high-flying Torquay United.

Frank, first of all, expressed his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Paul Muddell, Chairman of Aldershot Town Supporters? Club and Director of the Club, who collapsed and died immediately after Boxing Day?s game. ?I was very sad to learn of Paul?s death?, said Frank. ?When something like that happens, it puts football into perspective. He will clearly be sadly missed by everyone at Aldershot Town. My heartfelt sympathies go to his family and friends.?

Turning to the game, Frank felt that the Cards were unlucky not to get anything out of the match. ?I felt we edged the first half and they had the better of the second half and got stronger as the game went on. There wasn?t much between the sides, which, considering they are top of the league, says something about the progress we?re making. But we failed to capitalise on a couple of good chances which we had in the first half and didn?t make the best of some decent attacking moves in the second half, when our final ball in wasn?t accurate enough. The lads worked extremely hard, though, and I was pleased overall with our performance.? I asked Frank what he had said to the players when he spoke to them on the pitch immediately after the game. ?I said that they had nothing to be ashamed of and that they shouldn?t be downhearted. Obviously, it was disappointing to see our winning run come to an end but we would have an opportunity to have another go at them on New Year?s Day and in the Trophy. Before that too we had another big game coming up against Torquay. So, I told them to forget about the game they?d just played and to move on.? Frank added that he was pleased with the big turn-out for the game: ?Obviously, Aldershot brought a lot of fans with them but there were a lot of home fans too. I was very pleased with the support we received. I hope that, in spite of the result, they weren?t too disappointed with what they saw.?

On the injury front, Frank confirmed that Matt Ruby has had an operation to wire up his thumb and is expected to be out for three or four weeks. Jerome Maledon has broken his toe in training and will probably be missing for two or three weeks. Frank confirmed that it was Jerome?s absence that led to his naming youth team graduate Billy Hussey on the bench for the Aldershot game: ?Billy has been training with us all season?, Frank said. ?I know that he wouldn?t let us down if he had to come on.? Frank will be checking this morning on the fitness of other players. The main worries seem to be over Matt Gray and Matt Pattison, both of whom received knocks.

I asked Frank about activities on the transfer window front. Were we likely to have someone here in time for the Halifax game on 5 January, I queried? ?I?ve got two or three players specifically in mind but I?m not going to panic over bringing someone in. We might have someone here in time for that game or we might not. We?ll just have to see how discussions go and what the budget allows. I will also be talking again to Kevin James on Monday to see what the situation is there. He knows that I want to keep him for the rest of the season but he?s been keeping his options open till now.?

Frank is looking forward to seeing his side take on another top side when Torquay United visit Kingfield tomorrow. ?We know that they are a strong side and they?ll be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at Exeter City on Boxing Day. It should be an interesting game.?

Brian Caffarey
28 December 2007
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