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Club News

Kevin Bond's Wycombe preview

11 April 2019

Southend manager Kevin Bond sat down with the press on Thursday afternoon to discuss Saturday’s game at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

Bond saw his charges earn a point away at Fleetwood last week, and ahead of his first taste of managing at Roots Hall the Blues boss has spoken at length about what is a very important game and the role the fans can play in that.

Here’s what Bond had to say.

On the mindset to approach the game with…

We just know that it’s going to be one almighty battle. I saw Wycombe play on Tuesday night and they were tremendously committed, they gave everything they had in terms of effort and endeavor as a result of that their supporters stayed with them till the very last minute of the game.

They were undone by a little bit of quality on the night but kept going right until the very end. They do carry real threats as well but have similarly found it very difficult to win recently, but make no mistake they are a very live danger. First of all we need to match them on the basics otherwise we will come up short.

On both sides being desperate for the three points, but the emphasis also being on not to lose the game…

We definitely don’t want to lose the game, obviously. We will be going all out to try and win the game.

On the Fleetwood performance giving the players confidence…

I do think so. They were understandably disappointed at the end of the game as we had taken the lead twice and then you get a win in your sights. As we said after the game we would have taken a draw up there, and it was a really good point for us, but when you get your nose in front you obviously think after that initial disappointment and maybe a little bit of frustration after giving the lead away twice. The players looked back and reflected on it and all agreed it was a good team performance, certainly the first half and hopefully there’s a lot for us to build on. The lads have been in fine spirits since.

On the threats in the Wycombe side and Adebayo Akinfenwa in particular…

They have a lot of threats in their side, they have one or two players who can do something different, they’ve got people who are willing to run, force mistakes and close you down. They have threats from different areas, so they are not to be underestimated.

Absolutely we will not be taking them lightly. We will give them the respect they deserve but will be going flat out to win the game.

On his first game in charge at Roots Hall and the role of the fans…

The supporters can make a difference for the good and for the bad as they will be frustrated having not seen us win for a while, but that frustration can sometimes spill over and the players can feel it, which can affect confidence. Although its not the supporters’ fault as it’s the players and teams’ job to motivate the fans.

Where I’ve been in the past, the supporters will forgive you for quite a lot if they see you running harder than the next team, making tackles, closing people down, giving their best shot and working right until the end. That we have within us to do, regardless.

We might not play well or win but we can guarantee that we will work till the very end and give our very best. Then we will have the supporters on our side, and we absolutely need them because the home games are the ones you want to win the most, so we need them cheering every tackle, every time we close someone down and they kick it out for a throw in.

We could do with them turning up on Saturday and backing the boys and the lads giving them something to cheer about.

On Stephen Humphrys’ fitness and the possibility of him starting…

I’m hoping that he will be in better shape. It was a big ask for him given his circumstances last week, but circumstances prevailed and he got on the pitch earlier than what I would ever have wanted at that stage given what he had or hadn’t done in preparation for it. He’s trained all week so we will have to assess that.

On any other injury concerns…

We have a couple of injury concerns with a couple of our players taking knocks; Harry Bunn’s taken a knock and so has Luke Hyam. Jason Demetriou has had to miss training. We’ve had one or two skirmishes this week so we will have a look at it a little bit closer to the weekend to see whose fit and whose not before we make the final decision on the team.

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