Senior Press Assistant Ben Wiley sat down with First Team Manager Luke Garrard ahead of tomorrow’s National League match up against Stockport County, full transcript below: –
Ben: Luke, let’s start with the goalless draw on New Year’s Day against Barnet, what was missing do you think?
Luke: I just felt that it was two very even sides that were cautious in not losing their respective unbeaten runs. I felt that they had the majority of the first half and we probably shaded the second half. I didn’t feel we got our passing game going and that’s something I haven’t had to say in previous games of late. We like to dictate the play and on New Year’s Day unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The positives are the fact that we kept a clean sheet and extended our unbeaten run to 10 games.
Ben: We make the long trip North for Saturday’s game against Stockport County, they’re a couple of places above us, but a win would see us leapfrog them into the play off places, it’s got that big game feel to it hasn’t it?
Luke: I mean every game from now until the end of the season is going to have that big game feel, but to head up there when they are on the run of form they are currently having, it will naturally create a good atmosphere. They have been boasting 5,000+ attendances in their last few home fixtures and I’m really excited about the prospect of going there and trying to play to our maximum to return back down south with a positive result. The carrot is that if we are to be successful and win we do leap frog them which is a great incentive for the dressing room. These are the type of games if we are going to make a push for a play off place that we must enjoy and relish.
Ben: The squad is starting to look a little better in terms of available numbers, how big of a boost is it to have Sorba Thomas back from suspension and Tyrone Marsh looking almost fully fit?
Luke: Of course, it’s a huge plus welcoming Sorba Thomas back into the squad, and I was over the moon how good Tyrone Marsh looked after his set back with his knee niggle. The fact we didn’t have Sorba and Tyrone, as well Justin Shaibu for only nine minutes against Eastleigh, and to perform to the level we did was a credit to the group. You then play Barnet who had won four out of their last five and again not to have Sorba, lose David Stephens at half time and only have the luxury to play Tyrone for limited minutes can only breed confidence into the group. We now head to Stockport with a full quota of players to select from and that’s a great position to be in coming off the back of a busy Christmas period.
Ben: And finally, in recent interviews a lot has been said about the potential new additions to your squad this month, is there any further progress on that front?
Luke: No progress to date to update the fans on. Of course myself, the Chairman and the Chief Executive are working on this diligently. But for us it’s all about bringing in the right personnel who will strengthen us as we look like mount a play off push post-Christmas.
Ben: Thanks for talking with me Luke, good luck to yourself and the team tomorrow.
Luke: Thank you, Ben.