View from a Saints Fan
Toon182: Tell us a bit about who you are and why you support Southampton......
His Mate: I moved to Southampton with my parents when I was 7 in 1989. My next door neighbour was a season ticket holder who had a spare ticket one week and after that game I was hooked! I now follow the team from afar as following various moves around the country I now live in Essex. I get to as many games as I can but this season has proved a bit more difficult to get along! As a youngster growing up watching a team containing Matt Le Tissier, Alan Shearer, the Wallace Brothers, Tim Flowers etc it was a great era for the team. There was also nothing better than standing in the upper Milton Road end on a Saturday afternoon watching great football!
You've had a tough start to life in the Premier League, what's your thoughts on Adkins? Is he the right man for the job?
When Nigel Adkins took over just over 2 years ago, there was a 5 year plan in place to get back to the Premier League. 2 years into that 5 year plan we got there. Nigel Adkins is still relatively young but he is a fantastic manager and although a few people have got on his back due to the start we`ve had, the majority of fans are behind him to stay in the job and keep us in the premier league this season. I think the modern day short term view of some fans and the people running the clubs mean that a poor start was always going to lead to questions being asked but I`m sure he is the right man to lead us forward. Continuity was what led us to many successful years in the past and I am convinced that is what is needed to ensure we continue to develop as a team.
A Great win for you in the 6 pointer v QPR last week on the back of a very respectable draw against a decent Swansea side the week before. Will this prove to be the kickstart to your season?
We had a pretty tough start to the season with the games we had and pretty much every player had no experience of playing in the premier league. I think a lot of lessons have been learnt in the early weeks of the season and the team are getting smarter. As Rickie Lambert said this week, the mistakes you could make in the Championship and League One just can`t be made in the Premier League as they will get punished. Hopefully with the run of games with have coming up we should starting picking up a few more points! I`ll take conceding goals as long as we are scoring more!!
As a Saint's fan how do you view Newcastle United this season?
I think Alan Pardew did a fantastic job with what he had last season and it`s always difficult to follow that up. You certainly seem to have a fair amount of injuries to key players and a lack of consistency in the side seems to have had an effect so far. I`ve no doubt you`ll stay in the decision but I think it could be a struggle to reach the achievements you did last year.
Who are you wary of in our line up and why?
Whichever strikers are playing I think are likely to cause our defence some problems! Cisse and Ba at times look lethal although again a lack of consistency is an issue. For this week I am pleased to Yohan Cabaye is going to be out as I think he is a quality player and along with Cheick Tiote really boss the game from the middle of the park.
Who do you see as Newcastle's weak link?
If one of Colccini or Steven Taylor are missing I think your defensive backups are poor. I watched you at Norwich last season who battered your back 4 with an aerial game and although I don`t think we will do the same, Rickie Lambert will be looking forward to playing against your back four!
Who should Newcastle look out for in your starting 11?
Any of our front 6 really! On the back of last weeks performance a few players seem to step up to the mark. Jason Puncheon looked particularly good, Gaston Ramirez is growing into the side, Rickie Lambert is always going to be a danger and Adam Lallana has continued to improve after 2 great seasons in the back to back promotions. One for now and for the future is also our young left back Luke Shaw who has looked really good since coming into the side.
Expectations for (Southampton) for the rest of the season?
My realistic expectation is survival. I think as long as we keep faith with Nigel Adkins and strengthen defensively in January then we will be ok. Our run in of the last 10 games are all against teams who I expect to be mid to bottom half of the table so I expect those games to define whether we survive or have a season back in the Championship!
Where do you think Newcastle will end up this season?
I think it will be a comfortable mid table finish although that could depend on how far you get in the Europa League. Although I think playing in Europe is fantastic, there are just too many games in that competition and it can have a real effect on a squad especially when that squad is hit by injuries.
The Dell was never a happy hunting ground for Newcastle but since the move to St Mary's we haven't done too badly, how do you see the match going on Sunday?
As always I expect it to be an open game with goals for both teams. I think the game will finish 3-2 and I`d like to think in our favour!