FRANK: PLAYERS ON WAY IN
12:00am, Mon 7th Jan 2008
UPDATE FROM FRANK GRAY
I spoke to Frank at Kingfield at lunchtime today. Most of our discussion focused on a review of the season so far, which will appear in this Saturday?s matchday magazine, but I took the opportunity to ask Frank for an update on current matters. Our interview took place before the news came through of the signing of striker Jason Norville, although Frank had told me that he was hoping to tie up a striker?s signature during the day.
Frank said that he was ?delighted? with Saturday?s 1-0 win over Halifax Town but denied that he?d been under any pressure following the three holiday defeats. ?I was particularly pleased for the players?, he said. ?They had worked hard over the three holiday games and got nothing for their efforts, even though I thought we might well have got something out of each game. We didn?t play particularly well ? not as well, ironically, as in the three games we lost ? but we showed a lot of character, especially after we went down to ten men. We showed real determination and could even have increased our lead.? I asked Frank for his views on Paul Lorraine?s sending-off. ?I thought that the first booking was silly?, Frank replied. ?If anyone should have been booked, it should have been Matt Gray: he held onto the ball for longest. Paul Lorraine had only just got there when he received a yellow card. I thought that the second booking was harsh too. There was a much worse tackle by one of their players early on which the referee didn?t book.? Frank confirmed that Paul would now miss the next two games: either the Aldershot and Weymouth games or the Aldershot match and a replay if Saturday?s game ends in a draw.
I asked Frank if he would clarify the position on the offer made for Marvin Morgan, since there had been so many rumours. ?Yes, Histon made a bid but it had so many clauses attached to it that it would have taken a long time, if ever, for the Club to have received the ?20,000 involved. In any case, and more importantly, the offer didn?t meet our valuation of Marvin; and he didn?t want to leave Woking ? he?s happy here and wouldn?t have wanted to revert to part-time football. I am glad that he?s staying but he realises that he needs to score a few more goals and he wants to prove himself here.?
Turning to Kevin James, Frank confirmed that Kevin has left the Club because he wasn?t prepared to accept the offer made to him. ?We?d had to dip into the transfer money available in January to keep him till the end of December but I?d have had to have used all the budget up to keep Kevin till the end of the season. That simply wasn?t on. We need to bring in at least one other player. It?s up to Kevin, of course, to decide what he thinks he?s worth but it?s got to be realistic from our point of view. I?m sorry to lose him but we have to move on.?
Frank confirmed that he and Colin Lippiatt have been busy talking to other players. He said that he hoped to announce the signing of a striker later today and possibly someone else by the end of the week. The latter signing sounded as though it might be a utility player, possibly someone who could play at right back amongst other positions.
Frank said that there were no indications so far that clubs would be bidding for any of the rest of our squad, although he did add that it was early days yet and these things could happen right up till the end of the month.
Looking ahead to Saturday?s FA Trophy tie with Aldershot Town, Frank confirmed the disappointing news that Giuseppe Sole will also be missing, having picked up five bookings. Frank said that he was unhappy with our disciplinary record ? the second worst in the BSP according to the statistics in the Non-League Paper ? and that he would be ?clamping down?. He expected the Shots to field their strongest side: ?The lure of getting to Wembley should be a big enough incentive for them and they haven?t got a midweek league game coming up, so they will be looking forward to Saturday?s game.? He didn?t see any parallel with the weakened teams fielded by some Premiership sides in the FA Cup this weekend: ?that?s a completely different world, with millions of pounds at stake on retaining a Premiership place?, he commented.
7 January 2008