Woking take a break from league action this weekend as them come up against Luton Town in the FA Cup 4th qualifying round.
The Cards have failed to make the first round of the FA Cup since the 2010/11 season when a goalless draw at Brighton & Hove Albion saw a lucrative cup replay at Kingfield.
Garry Hill’s men will have to produce a spirited and much improved performance from their recent 4-0 defeat at home to Luton which saw a brace from Luke Cullen.
Luton have made an impressive start to their league campaign after failing to reach a play-off spot last season and currently sit third in the table. We talked to @LordLuton to find out the latest from Kenilworth Road.
After missing out in previous seasons promotion looks like a real possibility for you this season. How have the club changed under John Still?
After an excellent pre-season, we started this season fairly poorly with just two wins in our first eight games. The big difference this season is that the fans can see progress and logic behind decisions like team selection, formation, substitutions etc. and since the first few games, we’ve started turning draws into wins and begun to look a threat. Still takes a refreshingly honest approach to communications and when we’ve been poor, he hasn’t made excuses but has recognised what we’ve all seen. Not every manager we’ve had recently has been quite so skilled in dealing with the press and that can cause extra pressure in what is already an incredibly high-pressure job. That said, Still also has the benefit of reduced expectations from the Luton crowd: we no longer believe we should be beating every team 5 or 6 nil and accept that this is an incredibly tough league to succeed in.
You had a great run in the FA Cup last season which saw you knock out both Wolves and Norwich. Do you think having had this run the majority of fans would trade an early FA Cup exit for a title challenge?
Some would happily see us exit the FA Cup as soon as possible so we can concentrate on the league but others realise that progress in the Cup and a big third round tie and/or a TV appearance can bring in money that can be used to strengthen a team that can compete to one that can aspire to win the league. I think the Trophy is possibly a different matter although if you look at teams that have been promoted from the Conference, many have been successful in both the FA Cup and Trophy too.
Scott Rendell scored the winner at Norwich in the cup and has been on a short term loan at Kingfield in the last month. Can you see him getting back into your squad on his return?
To be honest I can’t but that’s no reflection on his ability and attitude which I think are both top quality at this level. The fact is that right now there are several players who fit into the way we currently line up a little better than Scott would.
You handed out somewhat of a battering to Woking when you visited Kingfield earlier this month, do you think a similar squad will feature or will we have new players to look out for?
We’re unbeaten in eight games, including six wins, so I don’t expect to see major changes this Saturday from the team that won 4-3 away at Tamworth last Saturday. Possibly Alex Lawless, who
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scored the winner against Wolves last season, might come in for Sean Whalley. We’ve signed an under-19 Portuguese international player called David Viana, who had a spell at Atletico Madrid, who has yet to feature. If he comes off the bench and makes an appearance, he’s one to look out for.
Finally, what is your score prediction?
We’ve scored three or more in seven out of our last eight games so a solitary goal will probably settle it. I’ll go 1-0 to Luton but I’d prefer a 3-3 draw and a replay at Kenilworth Road.
Questions and article by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91
Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be found at wokingfc.co.uk
Come on you Cards!