Shropshire Star

Kevin Wilkin will not allow Telford to take their foot off the gas

Kevin Wilkin has called for AFC Telford United to put in a profess -ional performance against already-relegated Berkhamsted at the New Bucks Head this weekend.


Wednesday afternoon’s news of a 12-point deduction for play-off rivals Mickleover means the Bucks have second place wrapped up with two games left, subject to an appeal from the Derbyshire outfit.

And while events elsewhere may be attracting the attention of many, Wilkin wants his side to focus on overcoming their opponents tomorrow afternoon.

“Whoever it is you’re focusing on, their league position should be immaterial,” he explained. “As long as we get ourselves to a high focus and level within our game it almost becomes irrelevant who we’re up against.

“It’s about concentration, focus and driving those high standards, because we know we’ve got enough quality in the group to be able to overcome teams on most occasions.”

Last weekend’s 3-0 win over Long Eaton – another side who have had their relegation confirmed already – proved that Telford can ease past these kinds of opponents.

However, the Bucks boss revealed that there are still lots of things he wants to see improve in games against ‘lesser opposition’.

“You’re always mindful of wanting to score early against these sides, and that hasn’t happened on a few occasions against teams that we’ve dominated,” Wilkin said. “Against Long Eaton we had one or two players become a little bit comfortable within the situation, and I’ve said many times that it’s up to me to keep them up to their work and not getting too relaxed.”

He continued: “I think some still subconsciously slip into that mode and all of a sudden you’re playing at the tempo of the opposition, struggling through the game.

“It can be a challenge to one or two of them when it’s too comfortable, some can tend to take their foot off the accelerator and start to play within themselves.”

Wilkin also revealed that he had to deliver some home truths during the half-time break in order to get the best out of his players in the second half.

“I did exactly the same against Leamington, and players have to understand that every time they take the field it requires 100 per cent of their game,” Wilkin added. “I’d like to think I demand high standards, and there were one or two of them that I’ve had stern words with because I know they’re capable of a whole lot better.

“When you drift into mediocrity that’s what your level is going to be, and we don’t want that. We need them to be bang at it regardless of who we play.”

Goalkeeper Brandon Hall has benefited from a week’s rest and may be fit enough to return to the side, although Wilkin confirmed that a final decision would be made later today. Last week’s debutant George Scott could be in line for a home debut should Hall not make it, while Steffan Jones and Ty Webster could come into the side to rest some senior figures.