Hockaday urges FGR fans to ‘throw down the gauntlet’ against title rivals Luton

Forest Green manager David Hockaday has urged his team’s supporters to ‘throw down the gauntlet’ when Luton visit the New Lawn on Saturday.

David Hockaday. Photo by Kieran McManus. wk 34.
David Hockaday. Photo by Kieran McManus. wk 34.

Skrill Premier title favourites Forest Green have has an indifferent start to the season just like the Hatters

Both teams boast an identical start to the season and are on equal terms with four points - after a win, a draw and a loss.

Hocakday said: “It’s always a big game against Luton, and this year because the bookies have us as joint favourites it will be a massive encounter.

“We respect every team we play but we don’t fear anybody. Yes Luton have got some great individual players that maybe other sides don’t have, but we will take them on as a team, as a tight group.

“I’d urge Forest Green fans to throw down the gauntlet at The New Lawn on Saturday. Let’s come in strong voice and turn up the volume.”

After banging in eight goals against a 10-man Hyde outfit, Rovers drew 1-1 against a well organised Nuneaton side, before losing 2-1 in the final minutes of a less-than-vintage encounter at Lincoln City.

Meanwhile, Luton began with a 1-0 loss at Southport, but bounced back to with a 2-0 win over Conference new boys Salisbury City, before scoring in the seventh minute of injury time to scrape a 1-1 draw at home to Macclesfield Town.

Hockaday though believes his team will benefit from the full week’s preparation ahead of Saturday’s game.

“The Lincoln game was a poor performance from both teams - a draw would have been a fair result,” he said.

“You can arrange as many pre-season games as you like but when you play three competitive football matches in the first week of the season, you can’t be surprised if the final game becomes a bit scrappy.”

Hocakday said the team had carried out a post-mortem on Monday after watching a DVD of the game on the way home on the coach.

He added: “We had an open forum on Monday and everyone talked honestly about the game.

“We looked at stats, took on board the learnings and put in a good session on the training ground. We’ll be ready for Luton.”

Both sets of fans can purchase tickets online though the FGR Club Shop – where they can be printed off at home, sent via text message to a mobile phone or picked up at The New Lawn – then simply swipe the barcode (QR code) at the turnstile.

Ticket sales are ahead of where they were for last season’s fixture when the Luton Town game drew the second biggest crowd of FGR’s league season.