As we look forward to tonight’s game at Barnsley, Vital Reading took the opportunity to speak to Tykes season ticket holder and fan Liam Blackburn
As we look forward to tonight’s game at Barnsley, Vital Reading took the opportunity to speak to Tykes season ticket holder and fan Liam Blackburn (@liamblackburn90), who answered a few question’s ahead of tonight’s fixture. Liam talks about Barnsley’s struggling start to the season, manager David Flitcroft and his prediction for the game at Oakwell. Thanks Liam!
1. What were your expectations before the season’s start and have they changed?
Before the start of the season there was a massive feeling of optimism around Oakwell after last years remarkable survival. I personally believed that survival was still the number one priority this season due to the amount of top quality sides in the division and our inability to compete with most Championship clubs on the financial front. My expectations certainly haven’t changed since then and if we are in the Championship once again for the 2014/15 season i will be a very happy Barnsley fan.
2. Who are the players that have been standing out, despite your tough start to the season?
Chris O’Grady has definitely been our stand out player so far this season, he has already scored 4 goals and is leading the line fantastically well with not much support from the other strikers currently at the club, we seem very reliant on him at the moment which is a bit of a concern. Another player performing well is Tomasz Cywka, but for some reason David Flitcroft doesn’t seem to reward him with a starting place after numerous impressive substitute appearances.
3. Do you still have complete faith in David Flitcroft to get you away from the relegation mix?
Stability seems to be a massive issue in football over recent years with teams constantly changing managers looking for instant success. Flitcroft’s achievement last season was nothing short of a miracle and although the club is going through a sticky spell at the moment, and some of Flickers teams selections are baffling at times, i think we need to stick with him and bring some much needed stability to the football club rather than pulling the trigger at the first sign of trouble.
4. What do you think the reasons are for your bad start?
The goals against column on the league table speaks for itself. Even though we have brought in a few new defenders over the summer we are still shipping massive amounts of goals conceding 22 already losing 5-1 twice, 5-2 and 4-0 already. We are not good enough going forward to score 3/4 goals each game to give ourselves a chance of getting any sort of positive result, so tightening up the defence is definitely the priority at the moment.
5. If you could take any Reading player at the moment, who would it be and why?
Most football fans will probably say the same but it would have to be Adam Le Fondre. A top quality striker of his ability would be a fantastic addition to any side in this division.
6. What starting XI and shape do you expect to see on Saturday?
This is a very difficult question to answer at the moment as we currently have a manager who is constantly changing the shape and personnel in the team to try and find out his best side and strategy. I think DF will go 4-4-2 with the side being Butland; Wiseman, Cranie, Ramage, Kennedy; Dawson, Etuhu, Perkins, Mellis; O’Grady, Pedersen. This possibly will change as the club are looking to bring in another two faces on loan before the game.
7. What is your prediction for the game?
A: I’m usually a very positive Barnsley supporter and always see us picking up a positive result, but watching us over the season so far I can’t see beyond another defeat, 1-2 Reading.