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MANAGER'S NOTES: Greaves On The Season So Far, Injuries And AFC Totton!

Danny Greaves spoke to us about the start of the season, how the squad has been coping with injuries, and looks forward to tomorrow's FA Trophy tie at AFC Totton.

So Danny... what are your thoughts on the season so far?

"We went a couple of rounds in the FA Cup before losing to Larkhall on penalties which is an improvement in previous years.

"In the league we lost on Saturday at Willand, in what was a fairly disappointing display, other than a 20 minute spell. In fairness we deserved nothing.

"It's probably been the story of our season where we have short spells where we have hit our levels, but long spells where we don't really get going.

"On the flip side we have taken three more points from the same games last season (Evesham at home, Bideford away and Willand away), so again that's progress.

"Overall, I'd rate it an average start, but not a disaster by any means. This week was the first week with no midweek game for a long time and gave us a great opportunity to get some good work in at training and give a few reminders and reset some standards.

"The key for us now is to put that into games and give a 90 minute display together and try to gain so momentum in what is a tough month ahead. Not only two games a week but playing sides who will fancy their chances of promotion."

It's been a gruelling start to the season on the squad, are there any injuries or concerns?

"It's been a difficult period for some players. We have had three players miss out on squads recently due to COVID, thankfully everyone has been fine in each case but we are doing things properly and not taking any risks.

"Jake Jackson is battling his way back to fitness after a tough 12 months with limited football, and still has some work to do, but you can see with his two goals from his first two starts what he brings.

"We just need to get him where he needs to be fitness wise and fairly quickly now. Marcus Mapstone had a very disrupted pre-season missing three weeks, and then the form of the defenders kept him out.

"He then gets his chance and starts two games and then picks up a niggle which meant him missing the last two.

"James Carey is due to start light training following his injury at Mangotsfield in the opening game, so fingers crossed he isn't far away.

"Martin Lenihan missed the first month of the season due to an injury picked up in the Yeovil game, but returned in the last week with appearances off the bench against Bideford and Willand so will now be knocking on the door.

"We have four major doubts going into this week with neither of those lads able to train this week, instead they have been in for treatment, but Saturday may be too soon.

"So it's been massively disjointed, but I can't complain, we have a good squad and will need everyone through the season if we are to be successful.

So we're back into FA Trophy action tomorrow, what are your feelings ahead of the trip to Totton?

"It's a game we look forward too. It's a lovely set up down there, superb pitch and it's probably the toughest draw you could get at this stage, let alone with players missing through injury.

"Totton have made clear, and very public what their aspirations are for the season. They have signed some very good and experienced players.

"With all of that comes pressure and expectation, so they will have to deliver success this season. We look forward to that challenge on Saturday and again in a few weeks when we go there again in the league.

"Hopefully we can thrive going into a game as underdogs for a change, as all the pressure will be on Totton. Their fans, their board and everyone linked to the club will expect to win.

"They have made that clear at the start of the summer. I just want to see a positive performance from my lads, which we can use as a springboard going into these tough league games coming at us."


Up for a double? We're doing saver tickets on our double header of our home Southern League game next week, Highworth and Cirencester respectively. Find out more here:

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