Garry Hill’s new-look Cards creep past Crawley

CAPTAIN'S SHIFT - Mark Ricketts was deployed just in front of the back four

CAPTAIN’S SHIFT – Mark Ricketts was deployed just in front of the back four

TINKERING Garry Hill toppled League One Crawley with a new-look formation he hopes will serve the club well next season.

The Cards lined up in a versatile 4-1-4-1 system against their Football League guests, with captain Mark Ricketts providing defensive cover in front of a rigid back four.

Summer signing Jack Parkinson partnered new recruit Brett Johnson at the heart of Woking’s defence. And the trio’s impressive display helped inject a healthy dose of optimism ahead of the Cards’ clash with a QPR XI on Saturday.

It’s no secret that our midfield and up top are the areas we are now looking to strengthen

Hill admits he still needs to bolster his attacking line-up, but revealed he could have concluded his defensive shopping by the end of the week.

The manager said: “I think during pre-season you have to look at different formations and see what is right going forward.

“I think we have to turn around and respect that we are going to play at a different level and there will be a step-up in quality.

“I think we’ll have to take a view of that and certainly away from home we may have to be a little bit more disciplined than we may have been in the past in the Blue Square South.

“There is a big gulf and that’s why, as you can see already, I’ve topped up our defensive areas.

“It’s not to be negative but to make sure that we’ve an area in our squad that is nearly complete.

“It’s no secret that our midfield and up top are the areas we are now looking to strengthen.

“As you can appreciate I’ve got phone calls going on with players and with clubs, and one or two things are very close.

“After I’ve cleared my head and spoken to Steve Thompson and Geoff Chapple I can have a look at the figures and  go from there.”

Trialist Keiron St Amie won and then missed a first-minute penalty but made amends six minutes later when he latched on to Kyle McFadzean’s loose back-pass and rounded keeper Paul Jones.

Greg Mills did his hopes of landing a contract little harm with an enterprising shift – his direct raids down the left offered Woking a valuable outlet as the game progressed.

Johnson capped a fine display with a tremendous block on the line from Nicky Adams’ low shot and Hill was pleased with the way his side rose to meet the challenge.

He also believes the club will be more active in the transfer market as the start of the season creeps into view.

“We had a very good workout and played with an excellent spirit – I appreciate Crawley coming down and doing that for us.

“When we didn’t have the ball we had to keep our shape. We didn’t give away cheap free-kicks which was pleasing and it was nice to get some of the younger boys involved. We are a football club that is building for the future.

“In midfield we need to be more creative and we need to look at players in the wide positions and up top – we’ve got options but we haven’t got enough.”

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