By Jacob Greenwood
Following a narrow defeat to Chesterfield, Woking face eight more league matches before the conclusion of the regular season. The gap between The Cards and eighth-placed Wealdstone stands at 13 points and gives Darren Sarll’s side a great chance of reaching the National League playoffs for the first time.
In part two of the fans roundtable, we asked our panel, Will Bewsey (@WillB_2003), Adam Bowyer (@AdzBow1983), Ben Parker (@ben_pxrker), Dominik Lipnicki (@dominikymd) and Tom Law (@thetowlaw11), for their thoughts on how we could win the playoffs and if we don’t, the approach for next season.
What is the biggest hurdle we’d have to overcome in the playoffs and what approach should we take to overcome this?
WB: Possibly the naivety of them. We’ve never been here before, but we’ve got a manager who has, and a squad full of winners, and whoever doesn’t win the league won’t want to face us.
AB: I think if we progress we would have to face either Notts County or Wrexham at Wembley in the final. Bigger fan bases and very good sides, it would be a massive challenge. We would need to play the game and not the occasion, much more pressure on other sides to get promoted and on our day I believe we can beat anybody in the league.
BP: The biggest hurdle in the playoffs would be the expectation. Realistically no one expects Woking to get promoted, but by finishing third, there’s high hopes that the team can win just two more games.
DL: Momentum is huge in football. We just need to keep going and getting the results as finishing third will make it much more likely that we will have a day out in Wembley. Clearly injuries will play their part, we now have Browne back, hence fingers crossed that we do not lose anyone, long-term. I am a big fan of Ross but think that so far Jaaskelainen has improved the team, his form will be vital for our playoff success.
TL: Two areas stand out to me. First and foremost we have to get our strongest team fit and available to stand a chance. We need the fans to be up for the occasion off of the pitch too.
If we don’t achieve promotion this season, what would we have to do to achieve this next season?
WB: Keep as many of the current bunch as possible, strong foundations lead to sustained success, and use the available funds to add a bit more squad depth. We’ve had quite a few injuries on the face of it, with Anderson, RGC, Nelson, Wilko etc all facing long periods of time on the sidelines; yet we’ve still managed to get consistent results.
AB: As the players say “reset and go again”. Try to hold on to our best players and continue to improve the squad whilst building the club up off of the pitch. Easier said than done but I believe we’re heading in the right direction. Hopefully it’s three up three down from next season!
BP: If we want to achieve promotion next year, it’s key to hold on to the core of the squad and not let them leave. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. Forget League Two, League One will be calling for some of these players.
DL: Stability would be great. I know that at this level, players tend to move around but it would be great to start the season with an experienced backbone that we could build a team around. My biggest concern is the finances. I think that the club must get much better at hospitality and attracting sponsors. We simply do not do enough with the facilities outside of the match days.
TL: If we don’t go up it is key that we back Darren Sarll and, where possible, retain as many players as possible. I think this will see us be competitive and it’s important we allow Darren to continue to build at the club.
Thank you to the fans that took part and if you have any thoughts on the above then reach out to us on Twitter. Until next time, thanks for reading and up the Cards!
Pictures are by David Holmes and Phil Fiddes. For full galleries please head to wokingfc.co.uk