Preview: Depleted Tudors ready to ‘patch together’ a side to face Chelmsford

Hemel Hempstead Town FC management duo Dean Brennan and Stuart Maynard. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Hemel Hempstead Town FC management duo Dean Brennan and Stuart Maynard. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

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Hemel Hempstead Town manager Dean Brennan admits that the Tudors are still struggling with a raft of injuries ahead of this Saturday’s National League South clash with Chelmsford City at Vauxhall Road.

Hemel are on a poor run of form which has seen them pick up just two points from their last four games, althought they have been severely hampered by injuries and suspensions during that time.

It’s frustrating when you look back at it, but it has been a very inconsistent season and there are teams who would absolutely bite your hand off to be where we are.

Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan

“The squad is looking the same as it was before Tuesday and before last Saturday,” said Brennan. “Slabber and Oli are still struggling with the flu, Ed Asafu-Adjaye still isn’t available, and neither are Louis John, Adam Bailey-Dennis or Kyle Connolly.

“It will be a massively patched up team again, which is why we gave the lads the day off from training today because there’s just no point in coming in when you’ve got so few fit players.

“We are hoping Ollie Thorne can come in and do another job for us – we’ve asked Kettering so they are going to let us tonight or tomorrow.

“We are in negotiations with one or two other players but we won’t be able to get those deals done before the weekend.

“We’ve still got Audrius Laucys with us because Brentford did us a favour so he will complete the month with us.”

Despite their struggles, the Tudors are still in with a chance of making the playoffs – although Brennan knows his side must start picking up wins soon if they are to keep their challenge alive.

“We are still in a good position because we have still got to play everybody around us, but we need to be getting our strongest team out on a regular basis,” he said. “We need strength in depth coming off the bench.

“We’ve really missed (Oliver) Hawkins since we sold him to Dagenham, but we couldn’t stand in the kid’s way because it was a fantastic opportunity for him. We haven’t won since he left so we have got to find a way of playing without him.

“I heard some nonsense earlier in the season about us going too direct to Hawkins, but he is a player who we always had great faith in.

“Really we should have had three more points from the last two games. We should have picked three up against Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday, and a draw against Bishop’s stortford would have been a fair result.

“But when the luck is against you, the luck is against you – Tuesday was the seventh time this season that we have conceded in 90+ minutes.

“It’s frustrating when you look back at it, but it has been a very inconsistent season and there are teams who would absolutely bite your hand off to be where we are. Teams ho have spent heavily and teams who were in the playoffs last year are finding themselves in the bottom three.”

Looking ahead at Saturday’s opponents, Brennan continued: “Chelmsford are a good team and they aren’t messing about. They have recently signed Reece Prestedge from Bromley who is a player I had enquired about. He is a fantastic footballer in this division.

“They are an ambitious football club and they have a good team. To be honest I thought they would be in a better position than they are in now, but they have just changed coach and brought in a couple of decent players.

“They are a good side, Chelmsford, a really, really good side and like I said there are no easy games in this division so it is another big test for us.”