Talking To The Oppo's - Latics v Reading
The Latics entertain Reading tomorrow (Saturday) at the DW Stadium, the Royals will be looking to build on getting their first win of the season against Everton last week, whilst we will be trying to get back on track after suffering two consecutive defeats
In the build up to the game I managed to grab a few words with Vital Reading editor and Royals fan Josh, lets see what was said:
How's it going so far? Are you disappointed or can you see light?
In recent games, we are certainly starting to see the light after initial disappointment. For us, it was just getting that first win and that demon out of our heads, now we need to kick on and look for the next three points. The main thing from our point of view is that we are not exactly losing lots of games and when we do lose, we are not getting battered. You see the likes of Southampton and Villa getting poundings every week, that goal difference may not be important now, but come the end of the season, it can make all that difference.
How have the new signings settled in?
If I'm honest, none of them have really set the world alight. The main disappointment has been Pavel Pogrebnyak, who we had high hopes for in the summer. However, the big Russian can't seem to crack it here for some unknown reason, whether you can argue that's because of the players around him, remains to be seen. I am still undecided with the signings of Championship duo Chris Gunter and Adrian Mariappa, who are constantly in and out of the team. Garath McCleary has done OK, I think we are still yet to see the best from him.
Danny Guthrie is a strange one. When he first came here, I was so impressed with him I thought we had bought the English Iniesta, but it has gone downhill from then. He was dropped from the side and publicly admitted on Twitter that Reading's style didn't fit his style of play and would need to adapt. Danny did apologise for those comments, but was reported weeks later to have had a training ground bust up with McDermott, but these claims were denied. Soon after, he suffered a 'thigh injury' conveniently enough. I hope he still has a future at the club, as he possesses great passing ability.
Brian McDermott, tell us a little about him, what's he like and does he have the fans backing
As you guys mentioned in your podcast, he is a manager that is often under the radar and goes quietly about his business. Brian has been at the club for over 10 years, mainly as a chief scout and reserve manager and was eventually given the job on a full time basis in January 2010. The fans who witnessed McDermott take us from possible relegation to League One to the Premier League within two and half years believe he should stay. However, it is unfortunate that a minority were calling for his head after all he has done, but that first win should have settled those doubters down a little.
How have the Russians settled in and do you see them as good for the club?
The takeover took a little while to complete, which raised concerns for some fans. Although, despite not even being owner at the time, Anton Zingarevich showed commitment to the club by putting in funds for January, which led to the turning point of the signing of Jason Roberts. With what has recently gone at Chelsea, some may think it is Russian nature to be a bit hot-headed and make rash decisions, but Anton doesn't strike anyone as that sort of person. He has publicly admitted his backing for McDermott and promised him funds in January.
How's Jason Roberts doing? He's a cult hero from his time at the Latics
In a nutshell, superb. Some Royals fans firmly believe he was the reason for our sudden promotion push in the back end of last season and I would go along with that as well. His experience and ability to work the channels is absolutely outrageous at his age, but still manages to do it superbly. May not be the brightest in front of goal, but any striker playing alongside him is bound to relish it. I'm glad he will get a good reception, never seems to get a good reception at any away ground!
Any Latics player that you'd like to see in a Reading shirt?
I'd be stuck between Gomez, Figueroa and Beausejour, but I'm going with Beausejour. Whenever I have watched him play, his attributes seem to define the perfect winger for me. Pace, power and the occasional end product that goes with it.
How do you feel the Latics will fare this season?
After watching how you played at the tail end of last season, I really think you have the potential to kick on and stay away from the relegation dog fight. You beat teams such as Arsenal and Man Utd, but the wonderful part about it that you deserved to win them. If you get a bit of consistency going, you should be fine.
How do you see the game going?
It will be a tough game, that's for sure. We are yet to win away this season, when our away form was very strong last year, but I'm not sure if this will be the place where we do it. I'm going for a bore draw, 0-0.
Big thanks to Josh for taking the time to answer the questions, have a safe journey tomorrow and enjoy Sharpy's
There is a 'return' interview with yours truly over on Vital Reading, you can access at www.reading.vitalfootball.co.uk
The latest PWU podcast is now available for downloading and listening to
This week we are missing two of the regulars, Greg is in London on a bit of business and Rob is suffering with a dose of 'man flu', best wishes Rob on a speedy recovery, I know that man flu really does floor you!
So the chatters are Barry, Dan, Paul and Gareth, we are chatting about our defeat at Anfield and where it all went wrong, plus we look ahead to this Saturday and the visit of Reading to the DW Stadium.
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