Aldershot Town travel to Meadow Park on Saturday (3pm) and Luke Garrard asserted his view that if the Wood can match their standards against Torquay, then they will cause the league leaders problems.  

With the Wood currently sat in the playoff spots themselves, Garrard was buoyant in his belief that his side are a match for anyone at the top of their game.

“It will be a tough game,” the Wood manager admitted. “I have seen all four of their fixtures and he gets them playing in a way that’s very expansive, where they try and dominate the ball.

“I think that they have got good personnel across the board and I can envisage that it is going to be our toughest test yet.”

Aldershot narrowly missed out on promotion last year, losing to Tranmere Rovers in the playoff semi-finals, but have started the season strongly as they look to make amends.

Garrard continued: “He hasn’t changed much in terms of recruitment, but I think that he has got a squad there that he trusts and who believe in him.

“But Saturday is about us and what we do and how we go about our game plan and we want to try and kick on us as much as we can.

“It has come thick and fast; we have played Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday and while we will get a rest in a week, it is then Saturday, Monday.

“So, fitness is going to be key for us, we are only a small group and getting people on the pitch is fundamental.

“I feel that if we can play at the level that we did against Torquay and in the second halves of Dagenham and Solihull, then we can cause problems.”

The Wood have begun the season in good form, with just one loss and two wins and will be hoping for another strong display on Saturday.

However, Garrard was insistent that it remains early days, maintaining his belief that consistency is the key at the beginning of a new campaign.

“I am not taking any notice of the table yet,” the 31-year-old stated. “We have got to just concentrate on the next game, which is Aldershot Town; we are four games in and no disrespect, but until about 20-25 games in, you won’t gauge where you’re at in this league.

“It will be all about us on Saturday and it is all about how we are going to implement our game plan, but they are a good team, with a great manager in Gary Waddock.

“I believe in this group and they believe in what we are asking of them. We went to Torquay on Tuesday evening and I felt that the team were starting to implement what we are asking of them.

“We move on again Saturday and hopefully we can do just as well as we did on Tuesday evening, and if that is the case then we can get a positive result.”

There will be a familiar face in the Aldershot squad in the shape of former Wood captain Callum Reynolds.

The defender captained the Wood to promotion from the Conference South in  2015 and Garrard acknowledged that he will be a part of a defence that are tough to break down.

“I think that Callum handles the ball ever so well and has good quality when he drives out of the defence.

“They have also got a goalkeeper in Jake Cole who can handle the ball well, so for us it is about putting pressure on them and asking questions of them.

“Eight goals in our last two games suggests that we have got goals in the team, but like I said, they are a very good outfit and a very professional outfit.

“They have a way of playing which I have seen in their four games that allows them to dominate matches.

“For us, it is about nullifying what they have to offer and then exploiting their weaknesses, it is going to be a tough test, but the boys are relishing it.”


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