Rovers take on Welsh giants
WELSH giants Cardiff City are the next visitors to The New Lawn on Saturday as Forest Green kick on with their pre-season preparations (3pm).
After an active pre-season schedule, Rovers suffered a disappointing home defeat on Tuesday evening against Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon Town side in front of a large crowd at The New Lawn – the visit of last season’s League Cup runners-up will provide an even bigger test.
Cardiff lost out on penalties to Liverpool in the Carling Cup final at Wembley last season and were also denied promotion to the Premier League after losing to eventual play off winners West Ham United in the play-off semi-final.
Saturday’s match at The New Lawn comes as part of the link-up between Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday and Cardiff boss Malky Mackay who worked together for many years at Watford – and Hockaday is aware of the threat Cardiff pose to his side.
“We’ve got an even tougher test against Cardiff,” said Hockaday after Rovers’ defeat to Swindon Town on Tuesday.
“If we don’t keep the ball well, which we have done all of pre-season up until now, then we are going to be chasing shadows again.
“There’s work to do. We just have to find out what our best eleven is. You’ve got to be realistic and we are still two and a half weeks off the start of the season so a lot can happen in that time.
“We’ve got more games so they’ll get more match time so it’s up to the boys to earn the shirt.”
Meetings between Forest Green and Cardiff have been few and far between in the history of the two clubs although the previous time the two outfits met was in a similar pre-season fixture in August 2004 at The Lawn when Cardiff came out on top as 3-1 winners, with Mark Beesley bagging Rovers’ goal.
Cardiff’s visit to The New Lawn on Saturday will be their first foray into pre-season action after time spent training in Switzerland and Mackay’s squad will boast a number of big name players featuring several internationals and new faces Joe Lewis and Jordon Mutch.
The Welsh side are expected to bring a large support with them to Gloucestershire and averaged over 22,000 supporters a week at the Cardiff City Stadium last season in the Npower Championship.
Forest Green should have a full squad available assuming Paul Green will shake off a slight ankle problem.
There is plenty of hospitality on offer to supporters attending Saturday's game in both the Green Man, the club's own pub, and also upstairs lounges in the main stand.
Tom Long Amber Bitter features as the guest ale in the Green Man and both the Carol Embrey Suite and Black & White Lounge are available to home supporters before and after the game.
Adults: Seated £12 Standing £10
Seniors: Seated £10 Standing £8
Young Adults (Age 16-21): Seated £5 Standing: £4
U16’s: Seated £3 Standing: £2
* Please note that this game is pay on the gate for entry.