It’s fair to say Nigel that that’s a season which none of us will be sorry to see that back of…
No, I don’t think so. It’s a season that ends in real disappointment. The season is a huge contrast, one that started with a lot of promise and finishes with a huge reality check of where we are.
Brentford are a play-off team which you are aiming to be…
Just look at the players on the pitch at the end. We had an U23 team out there.
Men against boys?
I didn’t say that, those are your words. We had a very inexperienced side out there in the end, but for an hour we showed that we were in the game.
Our shortcomings are there for everybody to see. This is a season that we’ve had far too many players unavailable, our fitness isn’t what it should be, nowhere near. That needs addressing.
We’re a long way from a team of athletes at the moment.
The one thing that you can work very hard at is affecting the fitness of the players we currently have. That will be a priority, in terms of assessing their fitness now with a testing day which we will have.
The off-season is always an opportunity for players to work at their fitness, and then we have a full pre-season which will have a different flavour to what they’ve experienced before.
We can’t have the number of players unavailable through injury that we’ve had this year, and a team is not visibly fit enough.
There’s not a great deal of physical strength in there?
No, I don’t need to tell you that, you can see it with your own eyes. It’s wrong to use the team that finished today’s game as the yardstick of where we are, we’ve currently got 13 players unavailable through injury.
The youngsters that we had out there today probably wouldn’t have a sniff of a performance in a usual circumstance.
They’ve been exposed at times where they wouldn’t be. They’ve coped admirably. We can’t put ourselves in that situation again.
What type of players will you be looking at in the summer?
We need players who can deal with the demands of the Championship, quite simply. There are a number of players out of contract, I’ve spoken to a number of them already and I will speak to the rest of them over the next few days.
Then some time during the week, the club will make an announcement of what that list looks like. We have a situation where we are relying on youth and players out of contract at the end of the season.
When you look at it like that, it makes it easier to look at performances as they are. Our form has been really poor.
Some of the young players have come out with credit, Louis Britton being one of them with his goal?
He’s a bit of a throwback in some ways. An old-style centre-forward.
We know what he can’t do particularly well, but we know what he can do. His physical presence is really good, he has an eye for a goal. He’s had to be more patient, but I was really keen even before the game kicked off to try and get him on the field at some point to reward the season that he’s had for the Under-23s.
It’s good for him to get a goal.
There are a lot of young, talented players in the team, but they’re a bit on the small side. Would you like to add some physical stature?
We need to shape the squad to make it more able to deal with the demands of the Championship. Some of the players we currently have unavailable are good athletes. There are certain areas we need to address, absolutely.
That will be clear over time.
Is now where the hard work starts, you can really get your team together?
The hard work started from the day I walked into the place. It’s just an ongoing process. The only thing that’s ended today is the fixture list.
In terms of the work in progress, it’s ongoing, it always is.
Was Mariappa an injury withdrawal?
Yes, yes. He rolled his ankle. I thought he was doing well, Mapps.
Tomas Kalas not involved today, was that a selection decision?
Yes, yes. Just a selection decision.
On Zak Vyner, where do you see him playing long-term? Do you see him as a central defender?
I think he’s suffered a little this year with being a utility player, and in our current form, it’s very unfair to put those sorts of demands on a young player.
He’s suffered from being versatile. One of the things moving forward for Zak will be to have a run, either in the side or at least have the understanding of a position he’s working at.
That will be clearer next season. I know what position that is, but at the moment I won’t share that. He’s a good lad, he’s another young player that he’s relied on heavily this year.
When people talk about Zak Vyner, they think of him as an experienced player when compared to who we had out today.
But he’s a youngster who would benefit greatly from playing alongside more senior players. The balance of our squad has been so lopsided in terms of players available, it means the players are exposed to difficult situations.
When I’ve said in previous week that I worry about young players being damaged, Zak is very much one of those, he’s 23. He’s a player who has got potential, but we’ve had to use him more than would be right for him.
We don’t have players available.
As for Famara, he was on the pitch at the end kicking a ball with his son, can you give us any hint about which way that will go?
As I’ve already pointed out, we will disclose players who are staying and players who aren’t later in the week. We will do it in one go.
When I’ve spoken to everybody. Fam’s one of those who I’ve already spoken to. The situation is clear but it’s not for public consumption yet.
The only reason I’m saying that is I’d normally like to be in a position earlier where the situation is transparent, but as you know yourself, we’ve been relying on young players and players out of contract to populate the starting eleven.
That’s not particularly an easy situation to deal with. I do believe in making sure that the player and I speak first. That it’s done in the correct way.
I also understand the public’s desire to know what’s happening. I think there’s a correct way of doing it, and that’s by dealing with players individually first.
We’ll announce it at the same time.
On pre-season, have you finalised your plans? Do you know what the club will be doing, I assume you won’t be going abroad?
Going abroad won’t happen, we will be staying in the UK.
We will be on-site for most of it, hopefully, there will be a short trip somewhere of some description.
I think the fixtures will be released next week, they’re mostly confirmed now. What I will be keen to do is make sure for our fanbase that there is clarity of what the squad situation is, and also what the future looks like.
Are you close to bringing in any staff at all to help you?
There will be additions to the support staff. It would be good, or nice, to announce that, but until things are completed, it’s not about speculation.
With a situation like this, it’s always important to reflect on the areas that need strengthening and then doing precisely that. It’s something I’ve been working out for a while.
How encouraged were you by Alex Scott today, he made more touches than anyone else for you?
17-years-old, wow. Well done to him.
Another player that wouldn’t have had any exposure to the first-team usually. It was only back in February I think that he signed a first-team contract with us. Playing men’s football in Guernsey before he was with us, what a journey he’s had.
You can tell he’s played men’s football. That’s one thing to look at. A very confident boy, a very good technician.
Now it’s very important to not build unrealistic expectations. It’s a great experience for him, I’m very pleased he made his full debut today. There are positive things, we have a number of young players with a bright future.
We need to manage their exposure in a more controlled way, we’ll do that if we have a better foundation, a more efficient, competitive first team.