Hemel Hempstead Town manager Dean Brennan has rubbished rumours that the Tudors could sign Watford legend Tommy Smith – instead urging the supporters to get behind the players they already have at the club.
Smith, 35, is out of contract following a stint at Championship side Brentford last season, while his brother Jack recently joined the Tudors after leaving AFC Wimbledon – leading to Hemel fans speculating about Tommy joining Jack at Vauxhall Road.
But when asked about the possibility of signing Smith, Brennan told the Gazette: “It’s madness. We understand there’s rumour mills and all that but it’s little things like that which frustrate me.
“There’s no way we would be able to sign Tommy Smith, absolutely no way. We just can’t afford him, it’s that simple.”
Brennan was not holding back as he urged the Hemel fans to get behind their club in numbers – starting with next Saturday’s FA Cup clash at home to Sutton United.
“What I find a bit frustrating about some of the stuff I’m hearing about the supporters is that we are seventh in the table, and this time last year we were near the bottom,” he said.
There’s no way we would be able to sign Tommy Smith, absolutely no way. We just can’t afford him, it’s that simple.Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan
“We have got Sutton in the FA Cup which is a fantastic draw for the football club, so what’s the problem? I remember a few years ago we played them in the cup and there were 1,200 fans there.
“Little things like that frustrate me a little bit – we’ve got to remember where we’ve come from and how far we’ve come.
“We’ve got to make sure we stick together and stay positive. I cannot knock any player’s workrate so far this season.”
Brennan singled out Oliver Hawkins as one player who he feels has proven people wrong since his arrival at the club
“People told me this and that about Hawks when he first got here, but this management team know what they are doing,” said the Tudors boss.
“Hawks is the best striker around now and I wouldn’t swap Ollie Hawkins for any player in the league above.
“I wouldn’t swap Dennis Oli for anyone either and everyone loves him now, so people have just got to believe in what we are doing – stop criticising and start getting behind this young team.
“Last year the average age was 22 and this year it’s up to 25 but we are still young. People have got to get behind them because these lads work their socks off for the football club.”
Brennan was, though, full of praise for the Hemel fans who made the trip to Bury Town in the FA Cup last Saturday, adding: “Our supporters who travelled to Bury last week were superb – they sang their hearts out and the players appreciate it big time.”