Date:Thursday September 13 2007
This Saturday Wigan Athletic entertain Fulham at the JJB hoping to continue the 100% winning home start to the season
In the run up to the game I managed to speak to Vital Fulham editor Putney and asked him a few questions about Fulham, the Latics and Saturdays match, lets see what he had to say
Are you pleased with your start to the new season?
It`s been a strange start. We`ve been unlucky with a few decisions and despite playing some attractive football we`ve not accumulated the quantity of points we`d have hoped for at this stage of the season.
However, the fight back against Tottenham, where we came back from 3-1 down to grab a point, should have given us some confidence.
Unfortunately, the international break may have disrupted any momentum we`d built up!
How's life under Lawrie Sanchez?
Life under Sanchez is different to put it mildly. Since he took over the managerial reins from Chris Coleman we`ve been extraordinarily active in the transfer market.
I doubt whether there is another Premier League club out there who made as many signings as we did during the transfer window. He`s rejuvenated the club but our biggest fear is that we don`t really have time to wait for the new team to gel.
The Premier League is a competitive league and we can`t afford to give any of the others a head start.
How`s Jimmy Bullard coming along?
Jimmy is making good progress.
The injury he suffered was horrific and he`s done well to get to where he is now. He`s back in training although there is strictly n-contact as he seeks to rebuild the strength in his knee.
He openly admits he`s been through some bad times as he pondered whether he`d ever make it back to full fitness.
The latest estimate for a comeback appears to be November/December.
I`m sure you`ll join us in wishing him well.
Are you happy with your summer signings?
On the whole yes!
The squad was remarkably thin and it`s the reason why we struggled last season.
Sanchez has bolstered the squad and added depth and class in most positions. He`s also gone for several players he`s previously worked with in the Northern Ireland set-up knowing that they know how he operates and vice-versa.
We`ve got a couple of classy operators up front in Healy and Kamara and with Lee Cook still to come in once he overcomes his injury there is every reason to remain optimistic that this season could be considerably better than last season.
Who should the Latics fans watch out for in the Fulham team?
David Healy has started the season really well at both club and international level. He had the ideal start thanks to Jens Lehmann gifting him a goal inside a minute at Ashburden Grove. Unfortunately, a thigh strain picked up on international duty may prevent him from playing but we here at Vital Fulham are keeping our fingers crossed that our very own predator does come through a fitness test.
How do you feel Fulham will do this season?
At the moment we`re skirting with the relegation places but a couple of good results, starting on Saturday, will kick start our season. I don`t expect us to be filling the relegation places but then again I don`t expect us to be challenging for a European place, I`m realistic to realise that this season is a consolidation season and I`ll be quite happy with a mid-table position and a good cup run.
How do feel the Latics will do this season?
I seriously thought you`d struggle especially with something of an unknown quantity regarding you manager. You`ve sold a couple of players but you have a good team spirit.
If you can hang onto Emile Heskey and keep him fit I don`t think you`ll slip into the relegation scenario.
Just below mid-table for you lot is my assessment.
If you had to pick one of the current Latics players to be in your squad who would it be and why?
With our own Brian McBride out injured for a while I`d go for your powerful striker, Emile Heskey.
His physique makes him extremely difficult to disposes and he gives defenders trouble big time.
What sort of bid are you looking for, is £3 million enough?
Who do you think will finish in the top 4 and bottom 3 this season?
I can`t see the top four being any different to last season namely United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. However, I can see it being a lot closer this season but I think Chelsea will be the ones to emerge victorious.
As for the bottom, I`ll go for Sunderland, Derby County and Birmingham City!
Prediction for Latics v Fulham?
As for a prediction, I`ve got to take into account that our away form leaves a lot to be desired, I can`t remember when winning away became a regular occurrence rather than a rarity.
However, you`ve got to keep the faith and believe that one day the corner will be turned, therefore I`ll go for a 2-1 victory to Fulham.
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Date:Thursday September 13 2007
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