Ahead of our game against Wigan Athletic at the weekend, we asked Kieran from PieEatersFootie to answer some questions on his side's hopes for the season and, also, what he thinks of Fulham and Martin Jol.
You'll also be able to catch my answers to his probing questions on PieEatersFootie over the coming days.1. You've managed to keep ahold of Roberto Martinez despite a lot of clubs sniffing around him - do you think that will prove vital in the way this season turns out for you?
Yes he was probably our biggest signing of the summer. None would have been able to get into the team well enough to keep us up this season. Martinez has a style of play, only he knows how to do, that saved us last season and of will see us succeed this season.
2. You're known for playing nice, attractive and attacking football but, as such, you're often left a bit exposed at the back. If it could guarantee you five more points in a season, would you sacrifice your club's footballing philosophy?
Our fans may say they would. Yet as a club what we are building is too valuable to lose now. Our style of play and the approach, isn't just at first team level but all stages of youth development.
The big picture for Wigan is to produce top quality footballing talent, that can play passing and moving football. Something I wouldn't want us to give up.
3. Do you think that having the number of close relegation shaves you've had over the past few years will make you stronger in that you've been there, done it and know what it entails? Or will it affect the players negatively?
No every year it helps us when push comes to shove. This season though I don't feel that we will need that kind of experience, we are aiming for mid-table and that is what I would hope to achieve this year. Very few players we have know how to maintain that level of consistentcy that can be need.
4. What needs to be done at your club to truly take the next step -and what do you think that next step is?
We need more fans, simply that. We do have a large fanbase in terms of what we came from. In 2000 we had about 5,000 home fans a week, now that is more along lines of 15,000. Yet even that is small for Premier League team, we can't compete in terms of what other teams make in selling their product.
If we could increase numbers and increase our income, then you increase player quality and can move further up the league.
For is the next step we want is a relegation free season. In the long run our aim is to play in Europe.
5. What's your impression of Fulham as a football club and, for that matter, what do you think of Martin Jol?
I like Fulham, when they are not playing Wigan (you always manage to beat us somehow). You are a lovely team who encompasses what English football is about. Good fan base coupled with a willingness to play good football.
As for Martin Hold I have never been a massive fan of his. I felt he was never able to full exploit Tottenhams fill potential, hopefully he can do it for you though.
6. Which two players would you take from us to supplement your squad?
You new main man on Dimitar Berbatov would be a nice signing, he may be a bit lazy at times, yet his ability to score more or less from anywhere makes him one of those players you want in your squad.
As for the other man, I would have to go for Breda Hangelan. The man is a quality defender and would improve anyone's defense in the world. You are lucky to have him signed down to a long term contract.
7. Score prediction?
I am going to edge my bets here with a 2-1 won to Wigan, will be a close game I feel.