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Getting to know the opposition – Wrexham

Woking will be looking to extend their impressive form when Wrexham travel to Kingfield on Saturday.

The Cards come into the game well rested after a 10-day break and Garry Hill’s side will be looking to compete a perfect March in which he has seen his side win four out of four games.

Hill admitted he is hoping for a bumper crowd at Kingfield on Saturday following an impressive win at Luton Town last time out in the league.

We talked to Ryan Denoven to get an idea of what to expect from the Welsh side this weekend.

Betsy fires a shot at goal as Woking lose 2-0 at Wrexham in October
Betsy fires a shot at goal as Woking lose 2-0 at Wrexham in October

When we talked to you at the start of the season you were confident that Wrexham would eventually start climbing the table. This hasn’t happened and recently Andy Morrell left the club, what has gone so wrong this season? 

Unfortunately our form never picked up and the whole season has been a bit stop-start, the players just didn’t seem to be bothered playing under Morrell anymore the effort wasn’t there. We aren’t a team that should be in 17th, I mean this team is very similar to last season’s playoff final team but with bad mistakes, lots of suspensions, injuries and bad form we have just been a shadow of the team we were last season. Morrell will always be a legend at this football club though and we all thanked him for his efforts.

Kevin Wilkin has recently joined the club and drew his first game in charge, was there a noticeable difference in Wrexham’s performance and what do you think he can bring to the club?

Well, firstly I would just like to say how pleased I am that we have managed to get such a good young manager who had done incredibly well at Nuneaton on a tight budget. To answer you question, he only had one training session with the players before the game so obviously the players are still learning his methods and his tactics. We played okay although Salisbury probably were the better side as Kevin Wilkin admitted after the game. I think Kev will be the right man for us in the long run.

Wrexham are on the same points total as Woking going into today’s game (51) which should see us both avoid relegation. Were Wrexham fans ever realistically worried about being relegated this season?

We all expected to be much higher up the league than this, the majority of fans thought we might scrape into the playoffs or just miss out but I doubt anybody would have said we would be 17th with 7 games left!

One game you will be focusing on is Chester away who having bragging rights over you from earlier in the season. How much does this derby mean to Wrexham fans?

It means a lot as it’s both a local derby and a cross-border derby, it’s got to be one of the best derbies in the country easily. It also can get out of hand sometimes off the pitch with fighting and stuff which I don’t like to see. On the pitch it’s always a feisty hard-fought game, hopefully we will turn them over at their place now we have a new manager in place! 2-1 to us is my prediction.

What visiting player will Woking have to look out for on Saturday?

Mark Carrington is one of our best performers this season, he’s originally a midfielder but he has been transformed into a right back this season and it has paid off, he chips in with the odd goal and the odd assist and is usually solid at the back.

Finally, what is your score prediction?

I say a close game with nothing other than pride to play for, 1-0 Wrexham. Good luck for the game.

 

Questions by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

Photo by David Holmes – A full set can be viewed at wokingfc.co.uk

 

Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Macclesfield Town

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking welcome Macclesfield Town to Kingfield on Saturday as they try and put a poor midweek result behind them.

Garry Hill was left disappointed as Woking stumbled to a 5-1 defeat to Dartford at Princes Park on Tuesday. The evening had started well for The Cards with Scott Rendell putting the visitors ahead but an immediate equaliser and a red card for Joe Jones put Woking on the back foot going into the break. Second half goals from Alex Wall, Max Cornhill and Lee Noble condemned Woking to a disappointing defeat.

Woking will be looking to get back on track as they take on Macclesfield on Saturday. The Silkmen travel to Kingfield in good form and since disappointing results earlier in the season find themselves mid-table with an eye on the race for the play offs.

We talked to Macclesfield fan Ian Stewart prior to the game:

When the two teams met earlier in the season it looked like they were both fighting to stay in the league, but Macclesfield have been on a great run since and are mid-table. What has changed at the club to bring this positive effect?

I’d say it was just a slow start to the season that put Macclesfield in serious threat of relegation. Virtually all of the squad had changed from last season. But early on, Macclesfield were having games

where they should’ve won, but couldn’t quite finish it, letting the opposition back in.

Funnily enough, it was against Woking where we got our first win, but even then it could have slipped away. 3-0 up with 10 minutes to go, and Woking got two back. There was relief around the home

support at the Moss Rose when the final whistle blew.

Sole fires home against away defeat at Macclesfield
Sole fires home against away defeat at Macclesfield

John Askey and Efe Sodje have had to work on such a tight budget, but they’ve brought in players who have worked together well on, and indeed, off the pitch. A few players have attracted the attentions

of clubs higher up, in the Football League, but right now the squad is well focused and hoping to carry on the run that has seen us close to the play-offs. We hadn’t lost at home since October, before

Luton came along the Tuesday before last. And that was a tough encounter for the league leaders, in which many felt Macclesfield were unfortunate to lose.

The goals of Connor Jennings certainly helped us climb away from danger. Jennings may have gone back to Scunthorpe now, but Chris Holroyd and Scott Boden are finding the net at the right time,

and new loan signings Waide Fairhurst and Akpo Sodje represent a strong presence up front, and competition for the starting line-up as well.

You find yourselves only 9 points off of the play-offs with games in hand. Is that a realistic target this season?

Yes. Of course it is very tight up there, and with Macclesfield 11th, it’s going to be a hectic battle to get one of those four places. The recent weather means it’s going to be a question of stamina as

the season draws to a close. With Conference matches happening twice in nearly every week up until April.

Also, with play-off challengers facing each other, a lot of points will be dropped. I certainly believe Macclesfield can take advantage of this, and when it comes to facing the challengers themselves,

home or away, we can put up a determined effort to take maximum points away from their play-off bid.

You have had an impressive FA Cup run this season beating Swindon and taking Sheffield Wednesday to a replay. Did this run bring a lot of fans back to the club and improve confidence within the squad?

Before Swindon and Sheffield Wednesday, the squad was certainly confident, being on a good run. But the manner in which they beat Swindon surprised and delighted many and sure boosted their confidence

to play like that in the Conference, there have been games where it hasn’t been the case, but after the slow start to the season, it’s a delight that defeats and poor performances are happening less.

Hopefully, many fans are coming back to watch the Silkmen, following the Cup run, and indeed the recent impressive form in the league. And especially at home. The financial woes have been well

publicised, and it’s all very well having a good FA Cup run, but no one relies solely on the money that brings in.

Revenue from the league games is key. Some Conference sides struggling financially, and the weather and postponements sure haven’t helped their plight, Hereford United are the most alarming

case in the league right now regarding their financial future. And for Macclesfield, there’s a lot more to be done to ease our financial troubles, the confidence and determined attitude of the squad under

Askey has shown people Macclesfield are worth watching. And worth watching for every game.

Scott Boden has 12 league goals so far this season. Will he be a player that Woking will have to look out for on Saturday?

The midfield, consisting of captain Paul Turnbull and the veteran Danny Whitaker will pose a threat in getting the ball to Boden. As well as threat from down the wing from Jack Mackreth. We’re full

of good pace, and with a positive passing style of play, I feel that the strike force, whoever it is will be dangerous going forward. Boden and Chris Holroyd will have to be watched if Askey selects them,

and so too will the wing.

Lastly, what is your score prediction?

Tempting fate again, I know Woking are a tough side, and over the last few weeks have had mixed results. Impressive win over Gateshead, followed by the 5-1 defeat to an improving Dartford squad.

It’s been mixed at Macclesfield too, but a lot more positive and in such a tight league, neither will want to drop any points. Away from home, Macc need to win to boost our play-off hopes.

My head says a draw, 2-2. My heart says otherwise… I’ll keep the result a secret until afterwards.

Questions by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

Answers by @ianthenoodle

Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be viewed at wokingfc.co.uk

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