Woking manager Garry Hill has brought back midfielder Matt Robinson on loan until the end of the season and has also captured the signing of ex-Fulham youth player Alex Smith.
Robinson returned to Kenilworth Road following Woking’s 2-1 victory over Aldershot Town but has re-joined on loan until the end of the season. 21-year-old Robinson found his form at Kingfield playing in central midfield and even found himself on the scoresheet in Woking’s 5-1 win at Gateshead.
The Cards have also signed 24-year-old Alex Smith. The ex-Fulham youth player, who can play in defence or midfield, made one senior appearance for West London side in the Premier League. Smith has since been at Swindon and most recently Yeovil town before being released at the end of last season.
Picture by David Holmes. A full set can be found at wokingfc.co.uk
Woking travel to Kenilworth Road on Monday as they take on the league leaders live on BT Sport.
The game will be The Cards’ first game on the channel and will also be one of their most difficult trips of the season. The Hatters have not lost in the league since they won 4-0 at Kingfield in September.
Luton will be looking to go 16 points clear at the top of the table as Woking try and take one step closer to Garry Hill’s target of 50 points. Results on Saturday mean The Cards are 11 points from the relegation zone with Tamworth, Dartford, Aldershot Town, Chester, Hereford United and Wrexham all failing to take three points.
We talked to Hatters fan Steve Judge to find out more about the high-flying Luton Town –
Luton find themselves 13 points clear with 11 games to go, what has gone so right for The Hatters this season?
There’s been a real sense of togetherness in the team, the management, the fans and everyone involved in the club for most of the season. The pivotal moment may have been when skipper Ronnie Henry confronted an angry fan after one of our less than impressive performances earlier in the season but overall the credit has to go to our manager John Still. Unlike some of his predecessors at Luton, once he hit a winning formula, he tinkered only when really necessary and as a result, the team has got better and better.
You have scored an impressive 83 goals already this season, can you tell us a bit about Andre Gray, he has been on fire this season.
Andre was spotted whilst playing for the now defunct Hinckley United against us in an FA Trophy tie. Although raw, he tore our defence apart and but for some excellent goalkeeping, would have scored a hat trick that night. He is a really exciting player: quick, skillful and he shoots on sight. He’s also come on leaps and bounds this season and his interplay with others has massively improved.
Who else will Woking have to look out for on Monday?
Jake Howells who is now playing in his favoured wide left position can cause you damage. He’s a clever player who can pass, cross, shoot and he’s been deadly from the penalty spot this season. He’s also formed a decent partnership with our left back, Scott Griffiths, who is probably our most improved player this season.
Scott Rendell left yourselves in January and joined Woking. He has made a good start to his Woking career and as scored 12 goals in 24 games. Do you think he will get a good reception?
Yes, absolutely. Scott will always be something of a Luton legend for the goal he scored at Carrow Road in the FA Cup. I think most Luton fans were disappointed things didn’t quite work for Scott here, wish him well and are pleased to see him knocking the goals in for Woking.
As your time in the Conference could be coming to an end, looking back, what have been your highlights?
Funnily enough, although it seems we’ve had 5 seasons of hell, most Luton fans have never seen us win so often as in this period, so it hasn’t all been bad. Highlights have to be: a 4-3 away win at Cambridge when we were 2-0 down and reduced to 10 men; a 2-1 home win against Oxford when we were a goal down in stoppage time and the winner from Keith Keane came direct from a corner in the dying seconds; an incredible 3-0 win away at Wrexham in a play-off semi; the FA Cup run than culminated in the 1-0 away win at Norwich; and this season for me is a toss up between the 6-0 drubbing we gave Kiddrminster that took us top – and got us to start believing – and Tuesday’s hard-fought 1-1 at Cambridge when we snatched the draw at the death and possibly dealt them a fatal blow in the title race.
Finally, what is your score prediction?
Our recent home form has been incredible and I’m afraid I’m going to have to go for a 3-0 win for the Hatters for this one.
Questions by @JGreenwood91
Photos by David Holmes. For a full set visit wokingfc.co.uk
You can follow Steve on Twitter – @LordLuton
Remember the game is LIVE on BT Sport and kick off at 7.45pm. Come on you Cards!
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
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