Following on from our superb victory in the play off Semi Final I caught up with Wood Gaffer to get his take on dealing with what is simply the most important couple of weeks in the clubs history.
JM “Ian , can you talk me through how you planned the double header with Havant and Waterlooville?”
IA ” We set up to be positive in the away leg and I feel the evening went superbly. We established a two goal lead and thoroughly deserved it for the level of commitment and performance we delivered on the night.
“An early goal at home and it would have been a mountain to climb for Havant, but it did not turn out that way”
” Going into a second leg with a two goal advantage is not as rosy as it sounds! It gives the opposition an advantage from the kick off as they have nothing to lose and there is no escaping the expectation that it heaps upon our boys. Havant like ourselves made it into the plays offs and there was a fine margin points wise between the four teams that earned the right to compete for the final promotion place. You do not get into the play offs by being a bad side and Havant showed on Saturday what a class outfit they are.”
” That said we showed in the 2nd half that we were worthy runners up in the Division”.
“Without a doubt. We were nervous in the first half and their goal knocked us off kilter after staring brightly. However we were tremendous in coming back strong second half . Our first goal looked like a defensive mix up, but credit must go to Ricky Shakes for having the foresight to run in and chase down a tiny opportunity to make something special. He is a player that never gives the team anything other than 100 per cent week in and week out. He is a winner and with winners in my team we can achieve our targets.”
JM “We now face Whitehawk in the final, a team you gladly avoided over two legs?”
IA ” Ourselves and Whitehawk are the two in form sides. We have lost just once in our last ten League outings, whilst they have lost twice in ten and have an even better record going back over their last fifteen games. We were totally outclassed away from home losing 0-3 , but learned enough to force a draw at home. It is a massive massive game .”
“Next Saturday is a big occasion, not only for the Football Club, but for the Townsfolk”
” Our loyal supporters have been outstanding all season, but I saw from last Saturday that their are more people that care and we had a good level of support. I can tell those people that the job is only half done! We need you all to come back and bring your friends to be a part of this incredible journey. We have given ourselves huge chance of going up into the Conference Premier playing our football in the fifth highest Division in the country! Who would not want to be a part of that?”
JM “Finally Ian, what is the mood amongst the group going into what is the most important game in the clubs history?”
IA ” I think you saw at or presentation evening that they are fully focused on achieving promotion. They do not need cajoling, they have focus and belief and it is what they want. I am so proud of them and what they have already achieved. I can only tell you what they tell me. They are not finished and next Saturday they will be ready to finish the job and take this town and its Football Club into unchartered territory”