I spoke to Frank Gray at Kingfield earlier this afternoon about Saturday?s FA Trophy defeat by Aldershot Town.
?I am very disappointed by the result?, said Frank. ?We played well for three-quarters of the game and were the better side but then we made two defensive mistakes. Aldershot Town are a good side going forward and they punished us.?
Frank acknowledged that Nick Gindre?s action in rashly bringing down Johnny Dixon for the penalty which put the Shots 3-2 up was not the first time he?d conceded a penalty in this fashion. ?Nick is relatively inexperienced for a keeper at this level?, commented Frank. ?We?ve spoken about it and Nick knows he has to improve his decision-taking in these situations. The important thing is that he must learn from what has happened.? I asked Frank if he was thinking of resting Nick. ?No?, Frank responded. ?I don?t think that?s needed but Nick knows that, in Ross Worner, we?ve got a very promising and improving young keeper in reserve, so he?ll need to be on his toes.?
Frank said that he was delighted with Jason Norville?s debut. I asked how much he had known about Jason before he was signed. ?We hadn?t seen him play much but we had spoken to a lot of people about him. He came and trained with us last week and we saw that he was sharp, although he?s not as fit as the rest of the squad and will need to catch up. That?s why I took him off midway through the second half. It?s when players are tired that they get pulls and strains, so I didn?t want to increase the risk of injury. I think it was only coincidence that the game swung in Aldershot?s favour soon afterwards ? that was due to defensive errors, not the change in the strike pair.? I asked if Jason?s injury record had been a worry. ?No, not really. These things happen. The problem perhaps is that he?s come back from injuries too early and then made things worse. That?s one of the reasons I took him off on Saturday. He may not even play a full game next time.?
I commented that Jason?s arrival seemed to bring the best out of Marvin Morgan. ?They complemented each other well?, replied Frank. ?Marvin?s work rate was exceptional and the Aldershot central defenders certainly knew that they?d been in a hard game afterwards. We wanted the forward pair to spend less time out on the flanks and to spend more time in the penalty area or at least in that width. We?d said the same to Marvin and Giuseppe Sole before Jason?s arrival.?
Frank confirmed that Matt Ruby was still two weeks away from a return to action.
Frank agreed that going out of the Trophy was a big blow but emphasised that the season was far from over. ?We?ve got two cup competitions left and we?ll be aiming to get as far up the table as possible?, he said.