12:00am, Thu 28th Feb 2008
I spoke to Frank Gray earlier this evening for an update prior to our away game at Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday.
I asked Frank first about Tuesday?s victory over Weymouth in the Setanta Shield. ?I was very pleased with the performance?, said Frank. ?They had quite a lot of possession but they didn?t hurt us. We defended well and it was good to get a clean sheet after conceding three against Farsley and Northwich. And we took our chances well.? I commented that Liam Marum had had another impressive game up front and that he must be challenging Jason Norville for a regular starting place. Frank responded: ?Everyone who played on Tuesday didn?t do themselves any harm when it comes to decisions about who starts the next match. It?s good to have this sort of competition for places.? On this theme, I asked Frank how he was approaching selection between Nick Gindre and Ross Worner for the goalkeeping position. ?I brought in Nick for the Northwich match because I felt that he needed a game and because Ross had played the previous three league games in which we had conceded six goals. Those goals weren?t down to Ross but he?s a young keeper and that sort of thing can affect your confidence. But he kept a clean sheet on Tuesday night and that will have been good for him. There are plenty of games coming up, so there are opportunities to play both of them.?
Frank confirmed that, contrary to the news on the BBC, which refers to ankle injuries to Gez Sole and Goma Lambu, everyone is fully fit and available for selection on Saturday.
On the contracts front, Frank confirmed that discussions are taking place with various players in the present squad. He reiterated that, as he and Colin Lippiatt made clear at the fans? forum, the plan is to tie things up as far as possible by the end of March, although Frank expects that there will still be two or three places to be settled. Frank added that he would make news available as soon as anything could be announced.
Frank said that he was very much looking forward to the Setanta Shield semi-final against Aldershot. ?It?s great to be in a cup semi-final, and it gives us another chance to get a result against the Shots. The game will be televised and there should be plenty of interest in it.?
Looking forward to Saturday?s trip to Rushden, Frank said that both sides would be keen to get three points and move on up the table. ?Rushden haven?t done as well this season as some people had expected: a number of people were tipping them for at least a play-off place at the start of the season. But they?ve got some talented players and it?s a nice ground to play at.? I asked if it was difficult to motivate players when the Club was sitting in mid-table. ?No?, Frank replied. ?There?s plenty to play for ? you?ve already mentioned contracts for next season, for example ? and we?ve got competition for cup places.?
28 February 2008