This Saturday we are in Quarter Final action as we travel to Hartley Wintney who ply their trade in the Southern Premier South Division. The Linnets finished second in group three with Winchester City finishing top, the three teams below the Linnets dropped in the plate competition whilst Paul Turner and his team secured a trip away in the knockout stages.
We caught up with Linnets Manager Paul Turner and asked him a few question ahead of Saturdays match.
Question 1: What are you most looking forward to coming up against a team from the Southern Premier League ?
Paul Turner: I would really like to see how far along the journey we have come as a new team, the team we started to develop from Pre season in 2020 through all the COVID pandemic up to now facing a test against a team where we have ambition our-self to be at a similar standard in a few years time.
Question 2: What's the mood like in camp after such a positive comeback Saturday away to Bemerton Heath after going two goals down early on and are you looking to take anything specific from that game into Saturday against Hartley Wintney?
Paul Turner: The mood is one of self belief, the confidence and trust are both growing game upon game, We have been able to create a team, which we found hard at times with the stop start parts of the Wessex league season and now you can start to see the belief and confidence individually and collectively together playing a consistent run of games.
We are looking to take self belief from the Bemerton game on Saturday, being two goals can be a mental challenge to recover from and the togetherness and determination to turn it around like we did shows what a great squad we have and that everyone played their part.
Question 3: Arguably the person in the squad that knows the most about our opponents would be on loan goalkeeper Harry Phillips with his parent club Poole Town playing in the same League, Hows Harry settled into the team during this Loan spell and working with an experienced goalkeeping coach in Martin Pidgley?
Paul Turner: Harry has settled in fantastically and has know Martin for many years, Harry has many attributes, not just shot stopping, his distribution is fantastic and he has been a real assets with the injury to Luke Dennison.
Question 4: Now you have reached the knockout part of the competition, do you think the team believes they can go all the way after a great display of results in what was a tough group you had?
Paul Turner: We play every game believing we can win it, playing Hartley Wintney is by far our toughest game of the season, if we take our chances on Saturday then I have no reason why we can't keep progressing as far as possible in this competition. We have great depth of skill and talent in this team to get the job done.
Question 5: It's been a tough journey in this competition for you with not a fully fit squad and having to manage plays with injuries, have the players that you asked and wanted to step up shown what great depth and talent you have in the team?
Paul Turner: We are blessed with talent throughout the squad but a number of them have had to play through injuries, which goes to show their commitment, resilience and determination, We have utilised pretty much everyone in this squad during this competition, its great to be able to give minutes to all fit and available players.