Shropshire Star

Chester v Telford: Kevin Wilkin’s worries as key men fighting for fitness

AFC Telford boss Kevin Wilkin is sweating on the fitness of several key players ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Chester.


Midfield duo Byron Moore and Prince Ekpolo are both doubts, with the former having missed training with a hamstring injury and the latter struggling with the back problem which forced his early exit from the 0-0 Boxing Day draw at home to the Seals.

Forward Kai Williams left Wednesday night’s training session early due to a hamstring injury, while goalkeeper Luke Pilling has been laid low by illness.

Wilkin said: “I’m a little bit concerned, if I’m honest. We go from looking in good shape and being able to leave players out and having an extended squad of 18 to 19 to choose from to having a few question marks.

“That is where we find ourselves. It isn’t great but there are players there ready to step in if they need to.

“You want to be able to field the same side in back-to-back games and then extend that. You normally get tweaks here and there.

“Whether it is down to conditioning at the start of the season? You can get illness along the way. It is frustrating but that is something we have had to deal with since we have come in. Hopefully we will be able to manage it out of the group.”

Telford head to the Deva Stadium aiming to build on just their third clean sheet of the season. The Bucks remain bottom of the National League North table, nine points from safety and with nearly half the season gone Wilkin, who replaced Paul Carden as boss in October, is under no illusions as to the challenge ahead.

Telford are yet to win away from home and have taken just three points from 11 fixtures on their travels.

“We need to start winning games and winning them quickly,” said Wilkin. “Our form needs to improve drastically to lift us out of the position we find ourselves in. I am really hopeful and optimistic we can go into the New Year’s Day game and pick something up.

“You look at the following they brought to our place. There will be a fantastic crowd at their place and they will be looking to go all out and make it four points from six over the Christmas period.

“Equally, we want to do the same but as we are aware, our form away from home is even poorer than it is at home, so it will be tough.

“We have to go there in a positive frame of mind and believe you can go there and build on what you have done at home and put in an even more consistent performance.”

Wilkin continued: “The real thing which stuck out for me on Boxing Day was there were no real glaring errors. There were one or two small moments but you are going to get that in a game.

“We have been guilty of making some real howling individual errors through my time here and you have to eradicate that if you want to win games.

“You have to work as hard as you can on the training field.”