We are ‘ahead of schedule’ for AFC Wimbledon clash

Anwar Uddin
Anwar Uddin

Eastbourne Borough’s new squad is ‘ahead of schedule’ as they welcome AFC Wimbledon to Priory Lane, according to boss Tommy Widdrington.

The side have three pre-season friendlies under their belt already and six more yet to come, including a double-header this weekend when they travel to Whitehawk Friday night and then host League Two outfit AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

The Borough boss insists that, despite a shock defeat to Hythe Town last weekend, he has no concerns about his squad thus far.

“I’m really pleased with how things are going. A couple of players have already played a full 90 minutes and most others are playing around 60-65, which is better than where I’d planned to be. Because of the Stevenage game, everything was pushed forward and we are ahead of schedule now. The fitness levels are good and we still have plenty of time to work on that. I always continue to look to improve.”

Borough opened their pre-season campaign with a draw at home to Stevenage, before a 1-0 loss to Hythe Town. However, they bounced back emphatically, brushing aside Horsham 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Now, as they prepare to welcome their second league opposition to the Lane, Widdrington admits he’s not reading into the results too much at this stage.

“I don’t want to form too much of an opinion on the results, it’s more about how we play and the fitness levels.

“There may have been a gasp when we lost to Hythe but the only difference between that game and the win at Horsham was that we turned our possession into goals, which is something that we talked about on Monday and was nice to see it come to fruition on Tuesday.

“People will read into the 4-0 win as much as they will the 1-0 defeat but the results are insignificant at this stage, which is hard for me to say, but we are still a work in progress.”

Widdrington still has a number of changes to make to his side ahead of the season start, which is just three weeks away.

“After the Whitehawk match on Friday, the selection of trialists at the club will find out their fate, “I will make cuts after Whitehawk because it’s only fair on the players who then may need time to find somewhere else before the season starts.

“I’ve given everyone a fair crack of the whip. Three matches is more than enough, but I will give them one more and then let them know.”

One trialist that Widdrington was interested in, Sam Corcoran, was unfortunately forced to leave the club after breaking a bone in his foot.

Gary Hart was also ruled out of the match with Horsham after feeling some stiffness in his calf but is expected to resume training with the squad this week ready for Friday night’s match.