Craig Laird: Dover Pre-Match Interview
Craig Laird insists that his squad will treat their final Blue Square South against Dover Athletic with respect and with a desire to win despite neither side having anything to play for on the last weekend of the league campaign. Both sides were hoping to extend their season by reaching the play-offs but the form of both teams in the second half of the season has ultimately ended any hopes either club had of a play-off birth.
Laird said speaking ahead of the game, “It’s a shame we don’t have anything to play for, either of us. We would have liked to be playing to get in the play-offs or to at least have an impact on the clubs who are trying to make the play-offs. It’s important for us to win, and we’ll treat the game with the respect it deserves. We believe every game is important to go out and win regardless of when it is in the season. We want to win the first game of the season and we want to win the last game of the season. It’s especially important try and get a win and put in the performance for the supporters that will still be paying their money to come and watch the game.”
The last time the two sides met, the game ended with a lot of bad feeling with the Dover management criticising The Seagulls’ tactics on the day, but Laird says that won’t affect the way his team will set up and play the game. “We don’t really care what they think. We don’t owe Dover anything in terms of the way we play our football. At the end of the day, all we care about is doing what is best for Weston-super-Mare Football Club and if that means playing ugly at a club as big as Dover then that’s what we will do. Of course we want to play good football and make friends on our way as we go along, and we do when we can, but against massive clubs like Dover sometimes you have to mix it up a bit.”
With Ben Kirk and Matt Villis out for the game due to injuries picked up at Staines, Laird has been looking at other options to fill the gaps left by them and paid tribute to the fantastic season the Under 19s have had. “We’ve had reports of potential Under 19s that could fill in from Ryan (Northmore) and they are in the frame, but we don’t want to take crucial players away from Ryan’s team so close to picking up their league title. Unfortunately, we haven’t had too much cover for a lot of positions this season. It costs a lot of money to carry experienced players to sit on the bench and to keep them happy at the same time.” Finally Laird paid tribute to the fans that have stuck behind him and the team despite the dip in form towards the end of this campaign.“I’d like to give many thanks to those that have and do support me and the team, it’s always appreciated.”
The game against Dover Athletic kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 28th April at the Woodspring Stadium. It’s your last chance to see The Seagulls at home so come on down and get behind the lads and show them your appreciation of their efforts of this season.
Many thanks to Richard Clark for this interview.