Preview: Brennan demands ‘100 per cent concentration’ as Tudors prepare for Oxford test

James Potton in action for the Tudors. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard
James Potton in action for the Tudors. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel Hempstead Town return to National League South action on Saturday as they make the trip to high-flying Oxford City.

The Tudors will be looking to return to winning ways in the league following back-to-back 2-1 defeats against Margate and Ebbsfleet United, while third placed Oxford drew 1-1 with Eastbourne last time out.

Hemel Town manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel Town manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Looking ahead at the fixture, Tudors boss Dean Brennan said: “Oxford are a good side with a fantastic footballing philosophy and some very talented Spanish lads.

“Obviously we know Kingy (Dave King) and Lawrie (Walker) very well because they did a fantastic job for us while they were at our football club.

“Oxford are a seriously ambitious football club and we know the way they like to play. We will 100 per cent need to be fully concentrated and fully at our best if we are going to take anything from the game.

“God only knows what the team is going to be because we’ve got so many injuries and I’m still trying to recruit, so we are going have to defend properly and get right up in their faces.

We will 100 per cent need to be fully concentrated and fully at our best if we are going to take anything from the game.

Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan

The Tudors go into the game on the back of a 7-4 defeat to Eastbourne Borough in the FA Trophy, having fought back from 3-0 down at half-time to lead 4-3 with 20 minutes to play.

Looking back at the game, Brennan continued: “It was a fantastic game to be involved in, but unfortunately for us we were on the wrong end of the result.

“The emotions were crazy and in the cup you need the luck and the breaks. But we didn’t get that, and we are out so we just focus on this week now.”

Hemel were due to travel to Truro on Tuesday but the fixture was postponed due to Truro’s FA Trophy replay with Cirencester. Despite this, Brennan says he has had a hectic week as he looks to strengthen his side.

“We’ve had a busy week and I must have watched about eight games in total, including reserve games, as well as constantly being on the phone as we continue to try to recruit.

“I just want to get everybody back fit, get the team out that I want to put out, and be able to make the substitutions that I want to make.

“But while it is like it is, we have just got to keep working our socks off, keep sticking together and see whether some other players can step up to the plate and do the business.

“We’d like to be winning games every week and keeping clean sheets but it just doesn’t happen at this level. You have to be on your game week-in, week-out or you’re going to get beaten.

“We just want the players to do what they are good at – they need to work their socks off, and then nine times out of ten you will come away with positive results.”

Team news: The Tudors could missing up to seven players for Saturday’s game. Matty Spring (calf), Jamie Slabber (illness), Mo Shariff (dead leg), Ben Herd (suspension) and GK Jack Smith (knee) are all unavailable, while Ed Asafu-Adjaye is not yet fit to start and Michael Richens (knee) is 50/50.

Ex-Chelsea man Steven Watt and former Millwall defender Jack Smith have both left the club since last weekend’s defeat to Eastbourne.