Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Read: Gary Johnson's pre Woking press call in full

17 September 2015

Watch the first part of the interview below

Cheltenham Town Manager Gary Johnson spoke to the press in the build up to Saturday's clash at Woking, here's what he had to say:

Gary Johnson on taking the good home form on the road:

There is no place better to do it than against two teams flying high and doing well, obviously we're going to Woking and Forest Green, neither of whom have dropped any points at home yet. It will be a good test for us, one to look forward to. It's good that we're going there on the back of a little run, five wins in six games, and the boys are confident. I've got to keep their feet on the ground a little bit because we haven't done anything yet, we've got ourselves into a decent play-off position, albeit early in the season but hopefully we can keep this momentum going. We'll have to try very hard to make sure Woking and Forest Green don't burst our bubble too early.

On confidence:

Confidence comes with winning games, we'll have to see what happens to Forest Green now that their defences have been broken through and they don't have that record to worry about, it could help them or hinder them I'm not sure. At least now Woking have proved they can be beaten, we already knew that but now we have to wait and see.

On his own selection dilemmas:

We've got a group  now that all want to play, and this is what a Manager wants in a squad, competition for places. I'm happy to tell someone, "I'm sorry it won't be today but it won't be long until it's your day."

The team are in form, but also the bench is in good form because they've been coming on and effecting the game which is important to me. We make sure the subs are in the game in their heads whilst sitting on the bench. I ask them to imagine where they will be, what they will be doing and who they would be picking up from set plays if they were to come on the pitch so that they don't make any mistakes.

On the 3-5-2 team shape:

It lends itself to our players, we also won games with 4-4-2 though. I know people say we haven't got any width in the 4-4-2 but we only lost the one game and are still up there in terms of goals scored and least goals conceded. So whatever shape we play we are still handy.

On his Family connections to Woking:

It won't help us as in my family connections aren't actually right 'in' the club, so we won't know the team selection or anything like that but my Dad worked there for many years as a coach, physio and Osteopath and he's very close to that team. In fact he's coming on Saturday, the first time he'll have been able to make it to a game in five or ten years so it will be great to see him on his home patch. 

My Dad also had a clinic up there where he could treat players for bad backs etc. I know a lot of the top top players have said that he helped add four or five years onto the end of their careers because of the work he did for them which is nice. 

On opposition Manager Gary Hill:

Gary is very experienced at this level and a great lad. We've had many games against each other and I don't think we've had any bad words, we both respect each other and what each other has done. Once again he's doing a great job with Woking so I look forward to seeing him. I'll recognise him but maybe I've lost a bit more hair since we last saw each other, he's always been bald anyway so I'll recognise him!

On his side's set-piece success:

I think Pelly (Harry Pell) has already given all of our set-pieces away hasn't he? He's a double agent!

We work very hard on our set plays, we all have a bit of an input, obviously when a set-play comes off where you have conned the opposition and scored from it, that's what they're all about and you can see from the reaction of the lads for both goals on Tuesday, that they really enjoyed them.

Generally the manager comes up with them, I come up with names for them as well so they can shout them out and the opposition won't know.
If you look back at Yeovil's play-off game at Crystal Palace a few years back we scored from the same set-play, so it's obviously mine!

It's one I enjoy, it's got a few variations but now Harry Pell has put it out there and given it a bit more publicity, so I might just have to drop him (he says laughing)!
Teams are clever so sometimes you have to forget about it for a few weeks, but that's why it's important to have variations.

On current injury news:

We're OK, it's still just Eliot Richards who is the only one on the medical roster. He's been training with us and he's still that sniffer in and around the box and it's all very encouraging.

On focusing on one games at a time:

I know the fans may look ahead but the players definitely have full focus on Woking. The reason why you might use Forest Green is that everyone sees it as a local cup final and all the lads will want to play in it. The lads who start at Woking will have a first shout if they've done well so hopefully that will urge them to do well against Woking because they want to be on the pitch at Forest Green so I will use that as a bit of motivation yes. 

On Saturday's opponents, Woking:

A couple of their players have worked with me before so they know me and I know them. The Assistant Manager Steve Thompson was my Assistant at Yeovil in our years of success so I know the club well but they also know me very well.

Gary Hill has been around just as long as I have so he's very experienced and knows exactly what's going on. They'll have their own tricks up their sleeves and have players who can pull things out of the bag.
No game in this league is comfortable, you have to go and make it comfortable yourselves. If you're not on your game then anyone can beat you.

On Momentum:

Momentum is important for sure, but it can also go the other way. I just know how important it is to get the confidence up as early as possible and get the momentum going.

Watch the first part of Gary's interview here:

Advertisement block