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Noble: 'I know what this game means. It's the most important of my career.'

David Noble has said not to be fooled by his calm exterior as this game on Saturday and run-in ranks as the most important period of his career.

Noble, 42, played nearly 500 games as a gifted midfield technician and has already taken St Albans to a Play-Off final during his very short but promising managerial career. However, the unflappable Stones manager said the crunch game at Boreham Wood on Saturday, kick-off 3pm is getting the nerves jangling like no other in his 23-year career as he realises just what is at stake.

"I have a clam exterior but trust me, I can assure you I'm not calm inside," he said. "I'm feeling it like the fans are. There is a nervous energy and a real desire do well for some fantastic people at this club, the fantastic fans and the players. I know what this means. And it means a lot to me. I'd almost feel calmer if I was still playing, but I know I have to put the team out on the pitch as prepared as possible and give them the instructions to execute. Saturday's game is the most important in my career."

The mood in the camp:

"Everyone just wants to help and play their part. Training has been good and the boys are in good spirits. It would be an even more difficult situation if you had players who were down but the boys are together, they realise the importance of this game and they know what to do."

On Luke Garrard:

"I don't know him personally but in football everyone knows everyone, really. We've had dealings in the past as when I was a player at St Albans, I almost joined Boreham Wood but it never happened. We also played them in the FA Cup three years ago. Coxy [Sam Cox] knows the club, the chairman and the manager well, so he's been invaluable this week with his help and insight."

On what to expect from Boreham Wood:

"I expect a team fighting for their lives. Results haven't gone their way but that means nothing in a one-off game. I expect their crowd will be right behind them and wanting to give the manager the send-off he deserves. We are going to have to match their energy, their work-rate and deal with a difficult atmosphere. We have to play our game and focus on ourselves."

On his message to the team:

"We need to be respectful of them but also do what we need to do and try and play our game. We need to fight for every ball, contest every duel and be focussed for every single action. I've told the boys and I will tell them again that every second will count."

On the away fans:

"They are amazing away from home and we need to get them going and give them something to shout about. It works both ways. A big away following will help and we need them more than ever on Saturday. I want to get three points for them."

Opposition view

Luke Garrard

"The focus is fully on Wealdstone. We've been in to work on Wealdstone and we know the magnitude of the game. There is a bit of nervousness ... but I need the boys to go out and implement what we've worked on in the last few days. We've watched them and they will be feeling a little bit aggrieved at their results because their performances warrant more points. We are on a similar run: one in 8 for the pair of us but that form goes out the window. It will be about being ruthless in box boxes. We need to give our fans something to shout about.

"They are very similar team to the team Stu Maynard set up. They like to play their patterns, like to play through the thirds and they've got some talented individuals higher up the pitch. We need to guard against that. There are no more dress rehearsals. This is last chance saloon. We need to ensure we pick up three points."

  • Pictures Jon Taffel


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