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Woking fans singing during victory over Barnet

Woking’s away supporters singing in the second half of their sides’ win over Barnet at The Hive.

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Getting to know the opposition – Barnet

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking’s trip to Barnet signals the start of a difficult month for The Cards as they look to secure their Conference status.

Since the departure of Edgar Davids from The Hive, Barnet have been on a great run and have won 5 out of 5 games under the new management team of Ulrich Landvreugd and Dick Schreuder.

This will make it a very tough game for Woking who will be looking to bounce back from their 2-0 loss to Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday evening.

We talked to Barnet fan and blogger Lucy Waldon about the Bees’ promotion hopes and that man, Edgar Davids, ahead of Woking’s first trip to The Hive –

Barnet were well known in footballing circles for having Edgar Davids at the helm earlier in the season, but he has now moved on, has this been a positive for the club being outside the media spotlight?

Definitely, although it’s fair to say he raised the profile of the club whilst he was with us. This wasn’t always a good thing, mind – what the numerous red cards and his decision not to travel away with the team. The latter certainly didn’t go down well with fans. That said, a lot of the time I was pinching myself; how does a player of that calibre ever stumble across a club like us? Since his departure, we have been getting the results we need as well – massive credit to Uli and Dick for the hard work they’ve put in.

The two sides played out a goalless draw at Kingfield earlier in the season
The two sides played out a goalless draw at Kingfield earlier in the season

How have the new management team gone about changing your fortunes, as you have been on a very impressive run recently?

Well nothing has changed, really. We’d been playing decent football before, it was all about grinding results. I think the players respect Uli and Dick a lot more and there’s no “I’m better than you” attitude. The players seem to be playing with a lot more confidence too, which is good to see. We’ve now won five in a row – a feat we’ve not achieved for a while (someone mentioned 2004 was the last time this happened – not sure how true that is).

You are currently 15 points off of Luton, does that mean the fans have given up hope of being champions and are starting to focus on securing a play-off spot?

I don’t think we ever thought we’d go straight back up, let alone as champions! The Conference is a lot harder than it was the last time we were in it (we went up in 04/05) and so many of the teams that were previously in the Football League have proved that. We are gaining momentum at a good time though, so if we carry on, I don’t see why we can’t cement a play-off place. I don’t think the wheels will fall off for Luton now, either.

This will be Woking’s first trip to The Hive, can you sum it up for us?

Well it’s your typical modern stadia, pretty lifeless. It’s in the middle of nowhere too, with houses either side of the gates. Underhill was your traditional old-school ground, whereas The Hive is the opposite. It has no charm either. The pitch is incredible though, although the London Broncos now play there too, so I’m not sure how long it’ll stay in top condition!

Finally, what is your score prediction?

With no disrespect to Woking, it’s a game we should win, particularly on home soil. However, it’s bound to be tough and after losing to Chester, we only managed narrow wins over Tamworth and Southport. We have never been particularly good against the bottom sides, either. I’m going to for 2-0 Bees with Lopez and Weston on the score sheet.

You can visit Lucy’s blog at – lookblacknamber.blogspot.com

Questions by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

Photo by David Holmes. For a full set visit wokingfc.co.uk

Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Barnet

Goals from Scott Rendell and Josh Payne were enough to steer Woking to their first home win of the season against Nuneaton 10 days ago. This was followed up by an entertaining 1-1 draw on the road at Southport on Saturday.

Woking now face a tough task in Barnet, who were relegated into the Conference alongside Aldershot Town at the end of last season. With a new stadium and a fresh start they were many people’s choice to bounce straight back to the Football League but The Bees currently find themselves mid-table. We talked to Barnet fan and blogger Lucy Waldon to find out what is going on at The Hive.

Josh Payne celebrates his goal in Woking's 2-0 win vs Nuneaton
Josh Payne celebrates his goal in Woking’s 2-0 win vs Nuneaton

It’s been quite a while since you played in the Conference and the league has changed quite a bit, how have Barnet found it so far?

It’s certainly a lot harder than when we were previously in the Conference and there’s definitely more competition for the top places – but we never thought it would be easy. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag so far: we started well and then dipped in form a bit – hopefully that was just an early blip as we find out feet in this division. Last season we managed three points from our opening 12 games; we’ve already surpassed that this campaign and are close to reaching half the amount of points we managed to accumulate during 2012/13. Whilst it’s difficult, I’d like to think we have adapted well – we just need to play consistently well for a whole game and not just 45 minutes.

It’s been an indifferent start for yourselves which has left you 10th after 13 games, are fans staying patient with the players and managerial staff?

I think so. We managed to keep most of our players from last season and they’re really not a bad bunch. Jake Hyde was our top scorer and to net 14 times for a relegated side is no mean feat. We kept the spine of the squad, with the likes of Stephens and Johnson in defence and Byrne in the midfield – a lot of our players can definitely play higher! I think we just need a bit of luck and concentration and we’ll start amassing points.

Talking of the managerial staff, what impact has Edgar Davids had and can you talk us through his role at the club?

When he joined us last season, there was instant success – but it couldn’t have been much worse because our start was so poor. Everything just fell into place: we were scoring, the defence was a lot more solid and I think the team started playing due to his stature. There was a stat that said we would have made the play-offs if Davids joined us at the start of the season. I’m not too sure what his role is – the fans don’t know and judging by the Non-League Paper interview, the chairman doesn’t know either (which is worrying!). Basically, his title is ‘head coach’ and there are two other Dutch coaches who work alongside him. Assistant Uli seems to be the one who picks the team – and he’s the one that travels to the away games as Edgar doesn’t travel up north (there has been no reason given for this – and we are just as much in the dark as everyone else! I find it bizarre though!).

Who will Woking have to look out for on Tuesday?

Keanu Marsh-Brown – an outstanding talent who was recently linked with a move to Ipswich Town. He’s scoring for fun and a tricky winger who has bundles of pace. Centre back David Stephens is also a giant in the back four – and was voted last year’s Player of the Season!

Finally, what is your score prediction?

I’m going to stick my neck out and say 3-1 Barnet. We were unlucky on Saturday and poor decisions cost us. I imagine we’ll go behind early on and then pull it back in the second half. KMB to score twice and Crawford to come off the bench and chip in with a late goal.

You can follow Lucy on Twitter – @Luuuce_x

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!

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