Swansea City reporter Kevin Elphic, asked us some pressing questions prior to our match against the Swans.
I?m quite surprised to see you struggling near the bottom, where were hoping to finish at the start of the season?
At the beginning of the season most fans were optimistic. Despite selling Sam Parkin to Ipswich who scored over 20 goals the last 3 seasons, we signed Tony Thorpe and Jamie Cureton who are well established at this level and hoped they could make up Parkin’s goals.
There was talk of promotion or the playoff’s mainly due to these signings alone. Realistically a top 10 finish was on my mind. Sadly we had a 10 game losing streak and that killed our season. Take that out of our season we are in the top half of the table.
Thorpe and Cureton did nothing at the beginning of the season and we couldn?t score a goal to save our lives. Those 2 factors combined really messed up a season that began with promise. We have been very unlucky this season. The general consensus amongst Swindon fans is that our board is not doing enough to help the team win and stay up and that our players off the pitch activities on the weekend hardly help their fitness levels. Many fans complain about not finding new investors. But who would want to invest in a club owing approx £9 million to its main benefactor?
What were your views of Rory Fallon during his time at Swindon?
Fallon was a super sub during the season we made the playoffs and scored many crucial goals, most notably against Bristol City that season with a bicycle kick that sent our fans into a frenzy. Last season Fallow was expected to replace the departed Tommy Mooney alongside Sam Parkin, but that did not pan out and soon Fallon found himself on loan to League 2 side Yeovil.
Many rumours mounted he was on his way out of Swindon. Fallon returned from his loan rejuvenated and started banging in the goals. He did well this season. We played a style to suit him. Fallon loved the fans and the club. I think it says a lot about Fallon who knew he would likely never get another big pay day and knowing our financial history that he leave and give us some money rather than leave for nothing at the end of the season and slap the club in the face.
Who have been your best performers this season and who should we watch out for on Tuesday night?
That?s a difficult one… Recently I would have to say Lee Peacock. Even though he has only scored 2 goals since joining from Sheffield Wednesday he puts in 110%every game. Jamie Cureton has been rejuvenated much like Rory Fallon as mentioned above since his return from his loan at Colchester. Our away form is appalling this season. 1 win away at Rotherham. Our goalkeeper Rhys Evans is one of the best in this division and could easily play at a higher level. I dread to think where we would be without him now.
Do you think you can beat the drop to League 2 or are you giving up hope on survival?
Yes. You have to believe. Until we are mathematically eliminated I fail to believe we will be playing League Two football next season. We have beaten the drop before and hopefully history will repeat itself. I would hate for us to be the first ex-Premiership side to drop to League Two.
Well us along with MK Dons, who were in the Premiership as Wimbledon. The only good thing about League Two is the last time we were there, good things began to happen at Swindon Town so even if we do go down I do not believe it will be doom and gloom.
Meanwhile, our chances of promotion are looking unlikely, where do you think the Swans will finish this year?
I believe Swansea will be in the playoffs. I believe you have the talent to even do well in the Championship should you get promotion. I would say fourth or fifth is realistic.
What have been the high and low points of your season so far?
The high point had to be our home win against Bristol City in November. It was a cracking day and drawing at Brentford away earlier in the season after losing 10on the trot, the fans came out in full force despite losing 10 straight and it felt like we won the league after we finally didn’t lose. Swansea beating Bristol City 7-1 also made us chuckle at our friends down theM4. Our first ever league win against Nottingham Forest at the beginning of the season was another memory many forget. Our low point had to be losing 7-1at Nottingham Forest a couple of months ago. The players looked lethargic and no effort was put in at all.
Who do you think is to blame for your poor season this year? Has your manager not been getting the best out of the players, are the players not performing or is it a combination of the two?
I don’t believe the management team is to blame at all. Most fans blamed Andy King earlier in the season. Once he was sacked the fans soon turned their anger to the board. Town fans know about our players off the field activities on the weekend that have been well documented.
I think its a case of having too many loan players who did not have the clubs interest at heart and not playing players in the correct positions. Oh and also bringing back Andy Gurney! The effort just has not been there. I don’t know whether it’s our manager of something off the field i.e. players notgetting paid, or not getting new contracts… There is no one thing I can lay my finger on as to how our season went so wrong.
We drew 0-0 earlier in the season, what were your thoughts on that game? Was it a fair result or were you disappointed not to get 3 vital points?
I was gutted not to get the three points. We had 2fantastic chances near the end of the game. CharlieComyn-Platt missed a sitter with about 2 minutes to go. Those 2 points could be the difference between League One and League Two football at the end of the season.
And lastly, what is your prediction for Tuesday?s game?
I’d be ecstatic with a win as we only have one away win this season, however being realistic I would be very happy with a draw which would hopefully be a catalyst for a win on Saturday against MK Dons. I look forward to my fist visit to Liberty Stadium. 1-1 With Peacock and Fallon arrghh! Scoring the goals respectively!
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