United have racked up eight goals in the last two games and Gary Johnson is pleased to see his team back playing his particular brand of football ahead of Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy away to Basingstoke Town (24/11/18 | 3pm KO).
Johnson was quick to divert praise for United’s good form back on to the players.
“It’s not me, it’s the boys,” said Johnson. “They’ve been in a rich vein of form and it’s been a pleasure to watch them, it’s been a pleasure to watch them develop. I’ve got a system of play that I like to see my team play; I did say against Woking that I didn’t recognise my game. I certainly recognised it, and so did they [the players], in the St Albans and Concord games. Football is football so we’ve got to be very careful that we don’t start thinking we’re Real Madrid. All of a sudden you come up against a team that is going to try and stop you, and work very hard in trying to stop what you perceive as your strengths. Concord started to try and stop us, but couldn’t.”
Back-to-back 4-1 wins over St Albans and Concord Rangers respectively must of have boosted confidence in the squad.
“It’s [confidence] the be all and end all of whatever you do in life. It mustn’t go over the line and become arrogance, because that’s when you’re going to get a big fall. Confidence is not just in your own ability, but in your teammates’ ability so that you go in and trust your teammates. Our motto still is ‘teammates you can rely on’; sometimes that’s on and off the field.
“I think Basingstoke are a decent team; we have had them watched. They’ve got quite a big array of players that might have been at Reading, or some of the pro clubs around there. They’re quite a young enthusiastic side so it’s going to be a good test. I’m pleased about that because we want to keep these tests coming so that we can keep improving ourselves.”
United are once again juggling the demands of the National League South with a Cup competition.
“The league is the most important competition at this stage of the club’s life. We’ve got to get that promotion so I’ve got to do everything I can to get that promotion but at the same time you don’t want to go into games not trying because you don’t need to win the trophy. There’s no reason why you can’t do both. We’ve got the two competitions, nobody’s telling me I’ve got to win the Trophy because of the finance of it. We just want to win football matches for this squad.
The Gaffer kept his cards close to his rest when asked whether there would be changes in personnel for the match.
“There are two trains of thought: one is that you give the boys an opportunity that have been on the bench for a little while because the team has been winning. The other one is that you pick the team that will keep the continuity of what we’ve just been doing. I’ll let you guess that, but you’ll find out at 2 o’clock on Saturday.
United’s injury list remains unchanged apart from defender George Essuman who is available for selection.
Basingstoke’s ground will be segregated for Saturday’s match. The Yellow Army will have the John Hacker stand, a part of the area behind the Clubhouse goal, and a part of the main stand.
Buildbase FA Trophy | Basingstoke Town Vs Torquay United | 24/11/18 | 3pm KO
The Camrose Stadium, Western Way, Basingstoke, RG22 6EZ
Adults: £12 | £8 Concessions |£1 U16s | An extra £1 is charged for access to the main stand