Tunbridge Wells boss Bird pleased with pre-season progress

Tunbridge Wells FC manager Keith Bird says he is pleased with the way his side is shaping up ahead of the new season.

Speaking after Wells’ 1-1 draw with Westfield FC on Tuesday night, Bird praised his team’s performance and said he now had a clear indication of his best side.

The home side were on top for most of the game, but conceded a late equalizer to cancel out the own goal that had given them a first half lead, and were unable to force a late winner.

“I think we totally dominated most of the game, certainly the second half,” the former Cray Wanderers manager said, “I would have been upset if we’d lost, but we’re not too worried about the result.”

“It’s all part of the process. I think we’re getting there now in terms of beginning to figure out the starting line up.”

On the subject of how pre-season was going on the whole, Bird was satisfied preparations were going according to plan. “It’s good, very good,” he said, “We’ve bought a number of players in from my networks from previous positions and some players that Jason Bourne knew.

“We’re putting together the nucleus of what I think is a very good squad.”

On the subject of who impressed him during the match against Westfield, the Wells boss was quick to point out the second half performances of Hakim Griffiths and Tom O’Connor.

“I thought both did very well,” he said, “but overall I think it was a very good performance by the whole squad. “

Bird confirmed that Wells legend and striker Andy Irvine missed out on last night’s friendly due to a hamstring problem.

“Andy got a slight hamstring problem that he picked up in the Rusthall game. We rested him on Saturday against Sittingbourne and didn’t feel he was ready tonight.”

“We thought rather than throwing him back in there tonight, let’s leave him out this week and next to fully recover.”

The manager also thanked the fans for their support and said he was settling in well at the club.

“The fans are superb” he said, “the gate tonight was very impressive for a midweek pre-season friendly that was put on at short notice.

“The whole club both on and off the field have been fantastic. It’s nice to be here and I’m really enjoying it.”

Wells kick off their 2015/16 Southern Counties East League campaign away to Crowborough on August 8th.

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