Kevin Bond has given an update on the fitness of Tom Hopper and Jason Demetriou and their availability ahead of the start of the 2019/20 season.
Both suffered from knee injuries with Hopper out since last October and Demetriou after coming off against Wycombe in April with a similar problem to the one which kept him out for a few months from November.
On the return to fitness of injured players…
“All of the injured players are progressing. Hopper isn’t miles away. He might be a bit behind but he’s not miles away.
“Demetriou is the same but I’m not sure they will be ready for kick off. I’m not sure they will be ready to start pre-season which in turn means they might not be ready for the start of the season.
“Sam Barratt will be a bit longer.”
On pre-season plans…
“From a pre-season front we’re pretty much there. We just have one fixture to organise.
“It’s been difficult because most people already had their pre-season organised. Trying to get one has been hard and we’re one light but other than that we’re OK and I’m happy with it.
“We will have two games down there [in Dorset]. We play Weymouth on the way down and then play Exeter behind closed doors the day we leave.”
On adding to his squad…
“Relatively speaking it’s not difficult to take players but the important thing is to make sure you get the right ones. We need to make sure we get value for money in terms of their minutes on the pitch and if possible you want to improve on what you’ve had before.
“We’re working hard but until we get something over the line we won’t be saying anything.”
On his backroom team…
“My backroom team is my backroom team which I’m very happy with. Kevin [Keen] is with us, Lee [Harrison] is with us and all of the support staff.
“I’ve got no real reason to want to bring about changes. I know Kevin and he’s worked at some top clubs with top people and has great experience.
“He’s good on the grass and well-liked and respected by the players. He knows his stuff and has an opinion which is hugely important. You can have people around you who will just say yes to everything you say but that’s no good.
“You need people who will challenge you and Kev does that. He’s not a difficult person to get on with either and I know Lee has done a good job with the goalkeepers too.
“We’re going to have to challenge ourselves as staff to be as good as we can be this year and challenge the players too. That will be my message to them.”