Specsavers

Ian Dyer Interview | FA Trophy Preview

William Bewsey
6:57pm, Fri 8th Dec 2023
Due to illness in the squad this week, Caretaker Manager Ian Dyer's interview was not filmed, so a transcript has been provided of the interview.

Following last week's postponement against Gateshead, the players have had two weeks since the last game at Boreham Wood, which Ian Dyer says has helped the group and players recovering from injury, despite a bout of seasonal illness.

“I think the break has given us the opportunity to spend more time on the training pitch, which is always beneficial. There’s been some illness going around the camp, which has been a challenge, several players have been in and out with illness, which you expect at this time of year, so that’s been challenging at times. But the players have applied themselves really well, I think it gave us a break from the amount of games we’ve had which has been valuable for the coaching staff and players to regroup, reassess and look forward to what the next period of the season is going to look like.

“Sometimes these cup competitions can act as a nice kind of distraction. Obviously, we know the situation in the league and we’ve got to face that head on but sometimes a different environment, obviously going and playing a different team away from home presents a different challenge for us."

Woking were last involved in an FA Trophy run during the 2020/21 season, after wins against Dover, Bromley, Sutton and Torquay saw them reach the semi-final stage, where they were beaten at Hereford by a 1-0 margin. Dyer hopes that the Cards can go that step further and reach Wembley, especially considering Woking's rich heritage in the competition.

“It’s a game we’re massively looking forward to, it’s a competition that clubs at our level will certainly set out thinking they can go very deep in, and we’ll be no different to that. I think if you can navigate the first couple of rounds, you start to see the draw open up at times, and you certainly don’t want to get knocked out early and be watching other teams take those later rounds and especially the goal of getting to Wembley.

“It’s a competition that we as a team and a club have some good history in. We had a good run a couple of years ago, which I was involved in, which was great. We were so disappointed that we fell at the final hurdle, but we built some real momentum that year. Winning games can help provide that momentum regardless of the competition, so it’s a game we’re really excited by.“

Saturday's opponents Weston-super-Mare are on good form having won their last four, and Dyer hopes that his side will show respect to their National League South opponents ahead of what could prove to be a tricky test by the seaside.

“It’s going to be a tough test, they’re on a good run in their league, so we’ve got to respect that. But we’ll go all guns blazing to go down there and win the game. I’ve watched their last two or three games, I’ve been impressed with their results recently, they’re four wins on the spin, they’ve climbed up the division.

“If you look at some of the experienced Football League and National League players they have at their disposal, then they’re a very good side in their division, so I’m sure they fancy the game on home soil. We’ve got to make sure we put a proper performance in because that’s what it’s going to take to win the game, they’re on a nice little run for themselves. We’ve got to go and show our desire and our qualities and impose ourselves on the game.”

The break from league action has given Dyer a chance to ease players back from injury, and he hopes that this will benefit the Cards in the coming weeks following an intense fixture list across October and November in particular.

“We’re looking okay. Like I said, we’ve been a bit up and down with some illness around the camp, which is unfortunate, we tried our best to prevent that happening and had protocols in place. We’ve had some issues with some players which have popped up, but on the whole this time has given one or two of the lads that have been out of the group that extra week on the grass and an extra week with their rehab programmes to get themselves closer. We’re looking in terms of numbers stronger than we did seven to ten days ago. And hopefully, there will be another one or two added to that next week ahead of the Dorking game.”

New signing Paul Osew will give Woking another attacking option on the left hand side, and he brings plenty of pedigree which Dyer hopes can bolster his squad's options.

“Positive news on that front, obviously a new recruit into the group as well which is a positive and hopefully will be an exciting player added to the group and will help the ones that we’ve already got. I know the player well, watching him over the last few years."

"He was in the Wimbledon team a couple of years ago and was rated very highly, playing consistently at League One level. Maybe the last 18 months haven't worked for him as well as he'd probably have liked. He now finds himself with us training and we've been super impressed with him, his attitude, and what he brings.

"With the injuries to Dennon Lewis, Nana Boateng, Ricky Korboa, we needed to re-balance the squad a little bit in terms of attacking wide players to give us more options. He can play on the left or the right, he's quick, he's dynamic, and hopefully we can utilise his skills to help the squad."

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