As we look ahead to tomorrow night’s game against Blackpool at the Madejski Stadium, we caught up with Blackpool fan and season holder Tim, who we spoke to earlier in the season.
As we look ahead to tomorrow night’s game against Blackpool at the Madejski Stadium, we caught up with Blackpool fan and season ticket holder Tim (@timmyfb), who we spoke to earlier in the season here. We ask Tim about the sacking of Paul Ince, the saga concerning his son Tom and his prediction for the game.
1. What were your expectations before the season started and what are they now?
Very much the same as at the start to be honest, somewhat unknown. Before it all kicked off it would be fair to say we were cautiously optimistic, Paul Ince had guided us to safety the season before and we looked a very organised defensive unit. At the moment we are very glad Ince has gone and it looks like Barry Ferguson is going to take over – he is making the right noises in the media and quite frankly, nothing can be as bad as it was under Ince.
2. After your very good start to the season, did you feel that you could continue it or deep down did you know it was eventually going to come to an end?
We made the best start in the club’s history but we knew Ince was riding his luck somewhat. The football was the worst I have ever seen from a Blackpool side. Every game we set out to try and get a 0-0 with the hope that we might steal a goal. It was clear Ince was completely ruled by fear and unable to change tactically if we went behind. His substitutions were clueless and under his management he managed to turn his son from the leading young player in the division into a sulking prima donna (when he wasn’t touting him to any club he could find across Europe).
We could tolerate the football when we were winning, but when the tide turned it was just horrific. Before he was potted, Ince guided us to one point from a possible 29, this combined with his incredible arrogance and inability to accept any blame meant he had to go. I think there was probably a number of parties across the Fylde when he went, I know I was ecstatic!
3. Paul Ince was sacked as manager on Wednesday, did you agree with the decision and if yes, why?
Erm… haha! As I think you can tell, a hundred times yes!
4. Barry Ferguson is in temporary charge – do you see him as a long-term solution? Are there any names you would like to see in the hot seat?
I think from the moment Ince went it has looked like Barry Ferguson will take over, he has been keen to stress he is only in charge for one game but he clearly wants to go into coaching and from his interview post-match on Saturday, seemed to love every minute. The fans have really taken to him, probably because he is the polar-opposite of Ince, he is positive, charismatic and wants the club to be challenging for the play-offs (Ince was only concerned with getting to 50 points).
The players seem to really respect him and he managed to bring in three new player in a day, something Ince couldn’t do in three weeks! At the moment Fergie is the obvious choice and I very much want him appointed in the role full-time. The only problem is he will hang up his boots and we need him on the pitch too!
5. Now that his dad is gone, do you expect Tom Ince to follow this month? Is he worth a Premier League move though?
Ince Jnr is a strange one, he was left out on Saturday and now it seems he is off on loan to Swansea. It cannot be easy for the lad with his dad going. I presume the loan is with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season, although Ince will be out of contract we will be due a tidy sum as he is under 23. At his best he is a truly wonderful player and deserves to play at the highest level, however this season he was been a shadow of his former self, but that is more to do with his father’s tactics I would suggest. He’s been a joy to watch at times and we wish him all the best.
6. Who are your stand out players in the side at the moment?
That’s a difficult question with the run we have been on! Ricardo Fuller has been a man mountain for us all season but unfortunately will miss Tuesday due to injury. Barry Ferguson has also been his usual reliable self but he will be in the dugout! I guess I would have to say our new signing David Perkins, he made his debut on Saturday and was superb, he plays without fear, runs well with the ball and has an eye for a pass, he also likes a tackle! We picked him up for very little money from Barnsley who are trying to slash their wage bill and at the moment he looks a steal.
7. If you could take any Reading player at the moment, who would it be and why?
Well, we need goals at the moment so I wouldn’t look past Adam Le Fondre. Also, I know he hasn’t played much this season, but Royston Drenthe wouldn’t go a miss, we could do with some attacking intent and invention. With Stephen Dobbie leaving us earlier in the month he is the type of player who we are really lacking.
8. What starting XI and shape do you expect to see on Tuesday night?
Shape is a tough one, we seemed to play a 4-1-3-2 of sorts on Saturday, but with the only real width coming from the left hand side. I think that was more because of the players we had available than anything tactical. If Fergie goes with the same again the starting line-up will be… Gilks, McMahon, Broadfoot, Cathcart, Robinson, Osbourne, Basham, Perkins, Eccleston, Chopra, Davies. That said, we may have some new names (hopefully) in by then, plus loanees Goodwillie and Halliday will be pushing for starts.
9. What is your prediction for the game?
I am very optimistic about our future under Fergie but I fear this game might have come too soon for us. I would take a draw right now but I think a 2-1 defeat is probably more likely. That said, we saw some positive signs on Saturday so you never know! Up the Pool!