I spoke to Frank Gray earlier this afternoon to get his reactions to yesterday?s game at the Rec and to ask about activity on the transfer front.
Frank summed up yesterday?s result ? and indeed all three holiday results ? as ?frustrating?. ?If we?d got hammered in all three games, then you?d hold your hands up and simply say that we weren?t good enough and didn?t deserve to get anything out of the games. But we ran the top two sides close in all three games and could have got something out of each game. Certainly, I thought that we shouldn?t have come away without anything from the three games over the holiday period. We?ve now got to concentrate on the Halifax match this Saturday, which will be a big game for us.?
Turning specifically to yesterday?s 2-1 defeat at the Rec, Frank said: ?I thought we started well for the first ten minutes or so but then we had a poor twenty minutes defensively. We let them run off us and conceded two goals which we should have prevented. We started to improve towards the end of the first half and then we were much better in the second half. Indeed, we were the better side after the break. We held the ball better and started to pass the ball through them and to play with more belief. We stepped up the pace and got at them. In spells, it was probably the best we?ve played this season. But it wasn?t enough to haul back the two goals we?d given away in the first half. I just hope that when we play Aldershot again in the Trophy that we?ll remember that we?ve nothing to fear and that we?ll get at them again as we did in the second half yesterday.?
Frank said that he?d given the players a couple of days? break after their exertions but was able to report that his side had picked up no further injuries. Matt Pattison had been ill before the Aldershot game and had been substituted when it was realised that he hadn?t recovered sufficiently. Matt Gray had been fit enough for the bench and should be fully fit for Saturday, when Jerome Maledon should be available too. So, that would leave just Matt Ruby on the sidelines.
On the transfer window front, Frank emphasised the importance of getting an early decision from Kevin James about his future: ?I?m very keen to keep Kevin and I think that he would like to stay in many ways but it would no doubt suit him too to leave his options open. But I can?t have him coming to me at the end of January and telling me that he?s had a late offer and that he?s moving on. So, I shall pressing him for a definite decision before the weekend. Once I?ve got a firm decision on Kevin, I?ll have a better idea of where I stand. If he does go, I?ve then got to decide whether to bring in a specialist midfield player or a utility player or a right back, where we?ve filled in so far this season. Of course, I?m hoping to bring in a forward. I?m talking to various players and clubs but, obviously, I can?t give details until something is finalised. It might be before the weekend or it might not: it all depends on how my discussions with people go.?