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Steve Watson speaks ahead of Telford

By Dan Simmonite | 21st January 2021

Steve Watson and his squad began training earlier in the week after a lay-off due to an isolation period and are looking to get as much work done as possible before Saturday’s return to action against AFC Telford United.

The manager spoke on the return to training this afternoon: “We’ve had the vast majority back training today. They’ve all got through the session and you obviously have to look at them all individually which the physio has done this morning. The players all declared themselves fit to train and they all got through training fine.

“It’s not ideal because you are only looking at two games training for some of them – but that’s what we have to deal with so we get on with it.

“The problem with the isolation is that they can’t get out and do anything whereas in general lockdown you are allowed to exercise – even the lads who didn’t have the virus had to isolate and they haven’t been able to do much training.

“Picking the side on Saturday, me and Micky are aware of the fact that the side will probably be more of who is the fittest and capable of producing 90 minutes – and then fit a team and a system and a bit of balance around that this weekend.”

Harry Bunn and Owen Gamble are expected to be unavailable on the weekend as they recover from injuries, and Steve Watson has said that he hopes they will be close to training next week.

In the meantime, his squad is bolstered by the signings of Gabby McGill and Jason Gilchrist – both forward players who will add to the firepower up top.

“We have got a strong squad but where we need improving is killing teams off and finishing games off. We dominated for large spells at Kidderminster and dominated for the hole game against Guiseley – but didn’t manage to kill the game and that 1-0 is always a strange predicament,” said Watson.

“A set piece or mistake then all your hard work can be undone so we are looking at ways to adding to the chances of scoring more goals.”

The opposition on Saturday, Telford, sit mid-table after 17 games however boast experience as well as threats up front with the likes of Jason Oswell and former Harrogate Town top scorer Brendon Daniels.

Watson added: “I watched their game against Curzon [online] and also had a guy go to their game. They’ve been a little bit hit and miss this season – they will say that themselves – but they’ve got good experience obviously Bondy (Andy Bond) is there who was with us last season.

“They’ve got quality up top as well. But no disrespect to Telford I am looking more at ourselves, how we perform, what the best team is for me to go out to get three points. Balancing that with who is more likely to be match ready.”

With off the field matters with the National League to solve regarding the 2020/21 season, Watson spoke on the situation and has said he is focusing solely on the fixtures ahead.

“We’ve got to prepare and look at it as if the season is going to go ahead and finish. That’s all we can do until we are told otherwise,” he said.

“We have a seven-week spell with Saturday Tuesday games now so there’s no respite. We need to prepare for that.

“What we are aware of, because we were stung by it last season, is the fact that if the season for some reason comes to an end, we want to be in the best position possible if there are any decisions to be made.

“For the next two or three games in particular we’ve got to be heading into those with nothing on our minds (not that we normally do anyway) but we’ve got to get two or three victories from the next few games.”

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