EXPERIENCED Woking FC Assistant Manager Steve Thompson knows only too well that individual mistakes are proving very costly this season, writes Andy Fitzsimons.
Thompson, who has had a long association with Woking; both as a player and being part of Garry Hill’s management team since 2011, acknowledges that The Cards are simply leaking too many goals from individual errors.
Speaking with the News and Mail last Sunday, Thompson eloquently said that there’s only so much you can teach the players. The rest is down to them.
He said: “Since January – and the Boxing Day defeat against Aldershot Town – Garry and I have been happy with the players’ performance and how they’ve played as a team.
“We have no qualms about their level of effort, but the quality does need to improve; we are simply making too many mistakes, which reflects where we are in the table.
“We didn’t play badly against North Ferriby last Saturday; neither team really dominated, but we didn’t make the most of our chances.
“I didn’t feel that we were in any danger, and then the ball is in the back of our net from a throw-in, which is not something you spend your time coaching the players at training. You expect them to deal with things like that.
“We have a strategy on who plays and how we set up, but you can’t tell a player to jump to head a ball; he either does or he doesn’t. If the result of him not jumping means you concede a goal, there’s not much that you can do about it from the sidelines. It’s down to their decision-making on the pitch,” explained Thompson.
This Saturday, The Cards travel to mid-table Boreham Wood, who have the fourth best defensive record in the Vanarama National League, but the second worst goal-scoring ratio. Only North Ferriby United have scored fewer goals.
And with Woking having scored in all but four of their 36 league games to date, but also conceded the most number of goals in the league, it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top.
“Boreham Wood are a difficult side to play against as they play counter-attacking football,” said Thompson. “They always have plenty of men behind the ball, which is why only Lincoln City, Tranmere Rovers and Aldershot Town have conceded fewer goals.
“If you look back over the last few seasons, we’ve always scored plenty of goals, but we’ve always conceded plenty of goals too. That was never really an issue, though, prior to this season.
“If we can avoid making too many individual errors in our remaining games, I think we’ll be ok,” he added.