Pompey v Reading: Josh's view
Vital Football caries the slogan 'for the fans by the fans', and as such we cannot forget the importance of fan participation - both on Vital Pompey and Vital in general.
As such we here at Vital Pompey Towers think it is 'vital' that we do all we can to try and actively seek fan participation, from all fans, and what better way to do this than to invite the editor of our next opponents to answer some questions for us.
This is what Josh, the Vital Reading ed, had to say in response to these questions...
1) Brian McDermott seems to be doing a fantastic job as your manager, is he the right man for the job and does he have the full support of the fans and/or the board?
The fans have grown to love McDermott as much as we did Steve Coppell, simply for how he turned us from relegation candidates to promotion contenders in a period of a few months. Most of our fans questioned the appointment, including myself, but on the boards half it was possibly the best appointment we could have made. In terms of support from the board, yes and no. The board and BMcD have a good relationship simply for the fact he has been at the club nearly 10 years now but financially do they back him? No. The likelihood is he won't get to see much of the Mills or Long transfer fee's, similarly to Sigurdsson.
2) How do Reading, as a club, treat the fans. Are you well treated, or are they fleecing you at any given opportunity?
Its a good question but quite hard to answer. Season ticket prices are reasonable but food is a little overpriced. We still have to pay for any cup game or friendly, when I don't know if a few clubs get them covered by the season tickets. The club still have to rely on our supporters trust to run coaches to away games when most clubs seem to do it themselves.
Just quite a sad separate incident though involving one of my friends. His grandad worked at the club for over 53 years as a groundsman and a player and his wife asked for a season ticket for him free of charge but was not given one. Considering we hardly even sell out every week, I find this quite unloyal and disrespectful as I very much doubt someone has worked at that club for over 50 years. Rant over! (Don't have to put this is in, just needed to get it out my system really!)
3) Who do you think was your best summer signing and why?
Getting Mikele Leigertwood down on a permanent without a doubt. If QPR scouts had been watching him every week for us, there would have been no doubt they would have had him back to help them with Premier League survival. Reads the game like a book and such a presence in the centre of midfield, holds it together really well. He lost only twice in around 30 games for us, which speaks for itself really!
4) Could you have done with more arrivals - if so in which areas and maybe even who? Do you think they might still come in during this transfer window?
At our club, arrivals are very unlikely due to our tight board! In all honesty though I don't think we need many more as I have said from square one, we are fine as long as we replace what goes out. We have done that with Mills but still haven't done it with Long, although Hunt and Manset seem to be forming a half decent partnership at the moment. Could maybe see activity more in the January window instead.
5) Who is the player, sold or released, that you think you will miss most this season?
Probably has to be Long. Not just because of his goals, his overall game. Good in the air, keeps possession well, links play up and has a good finish. Has already shown what he can do for West Brom in the Premier League so he has really deserved his chance and fair to play to him. Its now just a matter of possibly replacing him.
6) What are your expectations, or hopes, for the season?
Its so hard to tell but I think play-offs is the best we can hope for considering the strength of teams coming down and the strides that some teams (Leicester etc.) are making in the transfer market, as realistically we can't keep up with these teams financially.
7) So, what about Pompey. What do you make of our club and what do you think we should hope, or expect, for between now and May?
Although you haven't got many players in your squad, I look at the names and I think wow, you have got some Premier League quality and experience in there with the likes of Ben Haim, Mokoena, Lawrence, Varney and Kitson. If you got that team gelled and maybe added a few more faces, you could definitely push for a play-off place.
8) Who are the real danger men that Reading have that Pompey will need to watch?
I'm going to go for the two players that caused the most problems for a strong Foxes defence, Kebe and Manset. Kebe is strongly staking his claim to be one of or if not the best winger in the league, its just a shame that he normally has about 4 players round him! Manset is starting to look a lot fitter and that he can physically handle playing in the Championship, as last season he could only seem to last 10 minutes without getting tired!
9) Is there anyone in the current Pompey squad that you would like to see at Reading?
I would welcome back Kitson with open arms. Was a top player for us, doesn't seem to be hitting the mark with you guys for some reason. I think our game last season at the Madejski saw where his true loyalties lie ;-)
10) What about sending a player our way, is there anyone that you would like to send to Fratton Park?
Not really anyone in particular to be honest, possibly Ian Harte minus the set pieces. You have been linked with Brian Howard a few times, wouldn't begrudge that move!
11) So, go on then what result are you expecting on Tuesday?
I'm going to go for a 1-1 draw. Can see it being a tight game mainly contested in midfield but we really have to be aware of you guys from set pieces as you must have an average height in your team about 6'2.
Thanks to Josh for this.
My own answers to his questions can be found on Vital Reading - here.
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