Brennan urges Tudors to tighten up at the back and kick on in the New Year

Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard
Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard
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Hemel Town manager Dean Brennan was pleased with his side’s points return over the festive period, but has warned his players that they must improve defensively if they are to meet their targets.

The Tudors won 2-0 at Oxford City, before drawing 2-2 at home to Wealdstone on Boxing Day and winning 3-2 at Maidenhead United last Monday – giving them seven points from a possible nine.

Tudors striker Oliver Hawkins has been in fine form recently. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Tudors striker Oliver Hawkins has been in fine form recently. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

They were looking to continue that good form in the reverse fixture at Wealdstone on Saturday, but the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Looking back at the festive fixtures, Brennan said: “We’re happy with how it went over Christmas – we are a little bit disappointed with the home draw against Wealdstone, but to go away to Maidenhead and Oxford and get two wins is a fantastic achievement.”

Despite this, Brennan knows that his side must tighten up at the back if they are going to make a push for the playoffs over the second half of the season.

“We’re happy with the performances but we aren’t happy with the goals we’ve conceded,” he said. “That’s something we’ve really got to rectify if we are going to progress this season.

“We’ve scored a lot of goals this season and our front two are one of the best partnerships in the division, so it takes a lot to stop them.

“But we’ve got to stop conceding goals – we can’t rely our goalkeeper saving penalties in the last minute to hold on for a win in a game we’ve been 3-0 up in with 15 minutes to go, like he did against Maidenhead. That’s got to stop, and we have to improve that sector of our play.”

Looking at the positives, Brennan continued: “The biggest thing for me is our competitiveness – even in the games we have lost this season, we have always been competitive. That’s a real positive.

“But it’s one game at a time and we just look forward to our next challenge, which is at home to Havant on Saturday.”