Brennan dismisses ‘crazy’ playoff talk despite Tudors closing the gap

Hemel manager Dean Brennan watches on. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel manager Dean Brennan watches on. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

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Hemel Town boss Dean Brennan told fans to forget the ‘crazy’ hopes of making the playoffs – despite watching his side pounce late to salvage a 1-1 draw with Chelmsford City and extend their unbeaten run to six matches.

The Tudors looked to be heading for a 1-0 defeat after Adam Bailey-Dennis’ first half own-goal, but James Potton popped up in the fifth minute of stoppage time to rescue a point for his side.

James Potton netted a late equaliser for the Tudors. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

James Potton netted a late equaliser for the Tudors. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

“It was important that we didn’t lose tonight; Chelmsford are a massive football club, a proper football club, and I thought their fans were outstanding,” said Brennan.

“I thought we created more chances than them but they were dangerous and they came here with a gameplan. They played on the counter-attack, so credit to them.

“But we dug deep, we didn’t give in, and we scored with literally 10 seconds to go. I am happy with a point, and I would have taken that before the game if I’m being honest.

“I think that Chelmsford are a good side, who are well organised and get plenty of men behind the ball. And their number 8 is an excellent player who makes things happen.

I need 17 or 18 players and I don’t have that at the minute, so all this playoff talk has got to stop.

Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan

“They had a couple of chances to kill the game off on the break; I think we performed poorly but didn’t lose, and that’s the main thing.

“A lot of people are talking about playoffs and all that but they’ve got to get this talk out of their heads – it’s crazy. They’ve got me on the bench tonight and I haven’t played for five years.”

The draw leaves Town sixth in the National League South table, five points behind Gosport with two games in hand.

But Brennan is desperate to add to his squad after seeing loanee Jack Kelly hobble off at half-time, and knows that this could be vital to his team’s chances of enjoying success over the remainder of the campaign.

“We are short on players and we’ve got loads of games coming thick and fast,” he said. “I need a squad, I need 17 or 18 players and I don’t have that at the minute, so all this playoff talk has got to stop.

“We’ve got to keep taking it one game at a time, because we’ve got so many injuries across the back line so it is a really frustrating time for us.

“But we’re unbeaten, and little old Hemel will keep doing what we’ve got to do against the big clubs like Chelmsford.

“Everything was against us tonight, and we picked up another injury to our left-back so he will be out for a while. His loan ends on the 17th and that probably won’t get renewed because there’s no point.

“It’s so important that we go out and add to the squad because we are short at the top end of the pitch.

“It’s frustrating as a manager because I’m on the sidelines and I look at my bench thinking ‘what am I going to do?’ Because I have to make quick decisions and we don’t have a recognised centre-forward on the bench.

“It’s hard because you could see tonight that we were desperate for a recognised centre-forward on the pitch, and we have not got that.

“I know other players have moved on to other clubs, but we have got to get a young, hungry, athletic centre-forward so we will keep searching.

“We have to make that happen as a football club, otherwise the season will just finish with us in mid-table.”