Getting to know the opposition – Forest Green Rovers
By Jacob Greenwood
Woking welcome Forest Green Rovers to Kingfield tonight as they look to extend their winning run.
Goals from Scott Rendell and Joe Jones saw Woking claim their fourth league win in March making it a perfect month for The Cards as they beat Wrexham 2-1.
Tonight’s visitors find thmselves five places and four points ahead of Woking when they arrive at Kingfield tonight. However, this will be a tough game for Woking as FGR have invested heavily in their side for this season and will be aiming for the play-offs.
Forest Green Rovers’ last six results –
Southport 2-0 Forest Green
Forest Green 0-0 Welling
Forest Green 2-1 Grimsby
Tamworth 1-2 Forest Green
Forest Green 0-2 Braintree
Forest Green 4-0 Salisbury
We talked to Richard Joyce @RichardDJoyce to find out more about the Gloucestershire side before we were due to play them at Kingfield in Febuary.
Forest Green were among the favourites to get promoted this season but have struggled in the league, where has it gone wrong this season?
Consistency has been a major issue. Going into this weekend’s game is the first time Rovers have recorded back-to-back wins since November and it is always hard to predict which way it is going to go while our away form has been poor too. The squad is very strong but was still suffering a hangover of the disappointment of last season in my opinion where we went from being in the top three to drastically dropping to tenth in the final couple of months of the campaign. Subsequently that hangover ultimately cost David Hockaday his job in late October when team morale was pretty low. The players say they were not feeling the pressure of the ‘favourites’ tag being put on them but given Rovers have been nicknamed ‘moneybags’ by some it has made life difficult sometimes.
You have appointed Adrian Pennock as your first team manager, what difference has he made?
The changes which Ady has implemented since getting the job a few months ago are just about beginning to show right now. He has added a lot of personality to the role which I know has been welcomed by the squad, so what he has done off the pitch has been fantastic to raise the morale of the team which was pretty low following David Hockaday’s departure. On the pitch however he has made the team much more of a threat. We continue to keep possession brilliantly but we are more direct with our use of it unlike previously when we often provided little threat despite dominating the majority of games. He’s brought in a number of signings including Lee Hughes who is probably the stand out one but he is eager to cut down on the squad too which isn’t the biggest in the league but remains quite large.
James Norwood has got 16 goals for you so far this season, will he be a player to look out for on Tuesday?
James is a very explosive player and he finished as our golden boot winner last year with 15 goals so he is well on his way to beating that record. The great thing about James is not only does he find the back of the net but he creates goals for his team mates too. He is one of the fastest players in the league and I would not fancy being a defender if he was running at me and powering towards goal. So yes he’ll definitely be a threat on Saturday – Forest Green fans will be just hoping he remembers his shooting boots like he has done in our last two matches.
What other players have you been impressed by this season?
Marcus Kelly has been an absolute gem. Signing a one-year deal in the summer after a fair few years at this level it is remarkable that he is not playing in League Two. From midfield he has averaged a goal every other game pretty much this season and is very lively. Al Bangura adds a lot of class that saw him burst into the Premier League as a youngster while the impact of Lee Hughes of late has been great too. If selected at centre back, because he has recently been suspended, Dale Bennett has been a class act as well.
Finally what is your score prediction?
It’s ambitious because our away form this season hasn’t been great (only three wins on the road) but I am going to go for a 2-1 win for Forest Green with our goals coming from James Norwood and Danny Wright. I can see Kevin Betsy getting Woking’s goal as he did against us once last season.
Questions & article by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91
Photo by David Holmes. The full set can be found at wokingfc.co.uk