Speaking to BWFC TV, Wood Gaffer Luke Garrard said that he recognises the size of the challenge tomorrow, as his underdog side take on league leaders Leyton Orient.

The 33-year-old was in a positive mood, ahead of the tie, and explained why he is relishing the task of taking on Justin Edinburgh’s men.

“We are coming up against probably the best team in the level,” Garrard began. “When you look at what them and Salford are currently doing, sitting top of the pile.

“I wrote in my programme notes about Justin Edinburgh, his win ratio, and what he has done in a year with Orient, it is fantastic.

“They have got an unbelievable squad, whichever permutation they go with and for me, it is going to be a tough task.

“It is one that I am relishing and one that I know the players are relishing, the fact it is live on the box on BT Sport on the Saturday, is probably going to aid both sets of dressing rooms.

“For us as an underdog, we can’t wait for them to come here on Saturday.”

Having done his homework on the opposition, the gaffer was quick to pick out a variety of key names for Orient, but even quicker to name the key men from his own side.

“They have got the young kid Josh Koroma, who everyone is courting at the minute. You look at Macauley Bonne, who has been spoken about in terms of Championship sides.

“Add that to Jobi McAnuff, who is 37 – if I look as good as him at 37, then I’ll be over the moon. Then there is James Dayton, who has won it with Cheltenham, I can keep reeling them off, they are a good side, they are a very good side.

“I am under no illusions that when they land here on Saturday, it is going to be a tough task. But, I look at where we are going and the personnel who I have got in the dressing room.

“We have got Tom Champ, Mark Ricketts, David Stephens, Keiran Murtagh, all have played at a very good level.”

Garrard reserved further praise for young PASE Academy graduate Sorba Thomas, who has made quite the impression this season.

“Look at young Sorba, we are playing him at wing-back and he is a wide boy by trade, but I think that he is learning so much as a wing-back.

“We play a system that probably doesn’t suit him at the minute, and he could probably offer up what Koroma does at times, because he is special when he lands on the ball.

“Look at (Serhat) Tasdemir at AFC Fylde, I think what (Dave) Chanillor has with him at Fylde is fantastic, it is what Orient have with Koroma, and I think that we have that with Sorba Thomas.

“He has come through our academy as a winger, but at the moment we are playing him at wing-back. The amount he is learning about his defensive duties is phenomenal.

“We have got a dressing room in there, full of experience and full of youth, and like I said, we are the underdog on Saturday.”

A rotated Wood side beat St Margaretsbury 5-1 on Monday, with a number of fringe personnel impressing the gaffer.

Asked whether any of those players could come into the side on Saturday, Garrard continued: “Bradley Ash could play in a two up top, he done it superbly for Weston.

“Connor Smith can play that number 10 role in the three in midfield, Sorba as well, he got his goal, so I have got a few headaches come Saturday.

“I have got a few options, I have put my team down at the minute and it has changed a couple times already, but we will set it in stone with a good session.

“It is 11v11 on Saturday, it is front of the cameras and hopefully we put on a performance where everyone thinks that we aren’t a bad side.”


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