Ahead of Thursday’s training session, we sat down with Emiel Aiken to talk about the season so far and Saturday’s huge game against Hashtag United.
With the club sitting in second, how do you feel the season has gone so far?
I think we’ve done quite well so far. The targets we have set ourselves, we are probably one or two wins away from where we thought we’d be at the start of the season but second is still in the mix so it’s good.
Who has been a stand-out player for you so far?
I think I have to say the keeper [James Bransgrove]. It’s a difficult position to play and considering all the goals we have score, he’s keep plenty of clean sheets. When he’s been call upon, he’s done his job and he’s only been beaten by one or two decent goals.
What has been the most enjoyable game this season?
For me personally, it’s got to be beating Southend Manor at home. I played in a position I wasn’t quite sure about and people were giving me stick for only having one goal so to pick up two in that game from midfield, that was the most enjoyable game.
How do you preview the weekend’s massive game against Hashtag United?
Everyone’s buzzing for it. After the previous game, we didn’t deserve what happened so we want to get one over on them and show them who’s boss.
Does the reverse fixture change your mind-set going into the game?
No. I don’t we’re one of those teams that will go to a game and think any different apart from going to win. We have played a couple of so-called big teams that haven’t come to win against us but come to survive. We don’t go into games with that mind-set. They have a game in hand so we want to win just to be sure of our position ahead of them.
Do the recent wins against Hoddesdon, West Essex and Sporting Bengal give the players confidence going into the weekend?
Yes, every win helps. Every win that we pick up, gets us closer to the goal of promotion and winning the league so it’s always going to help the confidence.
There’s a chance that Stow could be top at Christmas, do the players think about that before games?
We just concentrate on the games ahead and the outcomes will be down to us. If we put the performances in, we feel we’re the best team in the league, that will show at the end of the season. It doesn’t matter where we are now, what matters is where we are at the end of the season.
How important have the fans been this season and how important will they be on Saturday?
They are a big help. When we’re not producing the performance we should be, they come out and sing and that gives us a lift. We want to perform for them as much as anything. Hashtag have their own little fans so it should be a good fan battle as well as a good battle on the pitch.