With many thanks to Vital Wigan editor Baz, we ask a few questions about our opposition this Saturday at the DW Stadium.
With many thanks to Vital Wigan editor Baz, we ask a few questions about our opposition this Saturday at the DW Stadium. Vital Reading ask about how he feels their season has gone so far, what Reading players he would like in their squad and his prediction for the game.
The lads over at Vital Wigan also produce a fantastic podcast every week, which can be found here. They talk about the Royals from around 17.40, but it’s well worth a listen all the way through!
1) In a nutshell, sum up your season so far?
Almost is a word that I`d use. We`ve had two poor performances in the league, Man U away and Liverpool away last Saturday, and in those two we were good for the first period it was just the second half that we fell away.
We have played some games that could have gone either way, unfortunately for us four games spring to mind, Fulham, Sunderland, Stoke and West Brom could have given us another seven points quite easily. We are almost there.
2) Who are the player/s to look out for?
Shaun Maloney and Arouna Kone going forward, Ivan Ramis at the back, three absolute quality players and none of them cost a fortune, £1 mil for Maloney, Ramis and Kone £3 mil apiece, shows that you can still buy quality without spending heavily.
3) You have had a fairly inconsistent opening third to the season, do you think you will be involved in another relegation battle?
I`d hope not, we are a good side as the back end of last season proved, there are one or two things that have conspired against us so far, the rhythm of the team has been interrupted slightly, I`m sure that we will get the points to have us safe by Easter at the latest…now I`ve said it!
4) Your gaffer has shown great loyalty in recent seasons by turning down other Prem clubs, how loved is he by the fans?
Martinez is absolutely adored by the vast majority of Latics fans, he is not only a tremendous coach, but also a fantastic manager, he is re-shaping the club from the bottom up, his vision is breathtaking and he is laying the foundations for us to be both successful on and off the pitch and self sufficient financially.
5) What position would you like to strengthen in January and any players names that spring to mind?
Centre midfield and cover for both our wing backs would be nice, we also have Arouna Kone off to the African Cup of Nations for at least one month so a striker on loan for cover would also be a good idea.
Names? Perhaps Tom Ince from Blackpool for the centre mid position, we are also being linked with Honduras international Roger Espinoza who stared in the Olympics.
6) If you could offload any player from your team, who would it be and why?
None, quite happy with the current squad, we need to bring one or two in rather than get rid.
7) If you could have any Reading player in your squad, who would it be and why?
I like the looks of Robson-Kanu, we need cover down the flanks and he`d be a great addition to our squad.
8) Expected line up for the game?
We lost Ben Watson last week with a broken leg and he was a replacement for James McArthur who is struggling with a thigh injury, so depending whether McArthur is fit or not, possible line up will be:
Al Habsi in goal
Back three of – Ramis Caldwell Figueroa
Wing backs Boyce & Beausejour
Centre mid pairing – McCarthy and McArthur if fit, Jones if not
In the hole Maloney
Di Santo and Kone up front
9) What’s your prediction for the game?
Got to be 2-0 Latics win