Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday March 12 2008
1) So how is the season going for Boro, if not for the cup it would have been very average wouldn't it?
Now that our cup dream is over, all we have to look forward to is scrapping ourselves away from the threat of relegation. Our cup run was brilliant and it was such a shame that it ended as disastrously as it did on Sunday. In the league I think we've always been comfortable, and never has the prospect of going down ever entered my mind.
2) Is Gareth Southgate the man to take Boro forward?
Absolutely. Gareth might be receiving some flak at the moment after they way we performed against Cardiff on Sunday, but he is the best man for the job. He is still a very young manager, which is something people always tend to forget about him, and is still very much finding his feet in the job. His signings have been good and the way he has got the team playing this season is impressive and promising.
3) Why don't the fans back such a great chairman like Steve Gibson by attending in more number.
Steve Gibson is a fantastic chairman; many would say the best in the league. I think the problems with attendances are far more deeper than that; I cannot sit here and explain to you why the fans don't fill the ground more often, because I honestly don't know. Although you might have seen there was a capacity Boro crowd on Sunday, and look at the performance they were treated to.
4) According to reports in the weekend press there will be £20million to spend on players in the summer, where do you most need to strengthen?
I think we have a real strong core to our team and squad, and obviously the youngsters constantly coming through from the academy really helps that. We might be looking for a new goalkeeper in the summer, as Mark Schwarzer's deal is coming to its end, and hopefully we can replace him with real quality. Defensively I think we are quite strong and have a number of highly promising youngsters such as David Wheater and Robert Huth. Perhaps a central midfield player would be nice for the summer.
5) If you could have one of our players, who would it be and who are you most wary of on Wednesday night?
I think it would have to be either one of the young wingers; Ashley Young or Gabby Agbonlahor. On their day, those two can be absolutely awesome. Nigel Reo-Coker has also been a good signing for you by Martin O'Neill. I wouldn't mind Gareth Barry either, to be honest. I think you have a lot of players to be wary of on Wednesday.
6) Which of your players should Villa fear?
After Sunday? Not many. Stuart Downing has his critics outside of the club, but I think he's shown what he can consistently produce for the club. Usually David Wheater in a defensive sense, but I have to admit he had a bit of a horror show last game. Maybe Afonso Alves, although I think it will be a good couple of months before we see him at his highest level.
7) What do you make of Aston Villa and Martin O'Neill?
I rate Villa, and I rate O'Neill even more so. I think you should have enough to continue pushing for Europe, and it has been nice to watch you challenge Liverpool for 4th for so long this season. It would be great to see a side really push forward into that Big Four dominance. I like watching Villa too, I think Martin has got you playing some really great stuff.
8) Prediction if you would be so kind!?
After Sunday you'll have to forgive me for not being too optimistic. I really think the best we can hope for is a point, although even that is a tough ask.
For my interview on Vital Boro Click Here
Date:Wednesday March 12 2008
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