Date:Thursday March 1 2007
Vital Stockport's editor Jack Byrne has taken time to answer some pressing questions prior to our match with Stockport on Saturday.
1. Prior to the season most fans expected Stockport to be fighting relegation after just escaping it last season, How does it feel to be only 2 points behind third and near the top of the table, a huge contrast to last season?
Well it feels absolutely fantastic if I'm being honest. I started supporting County properly when we got into Division One after my father had took me to a few games in the promotion season. Since then we've never done anything, we beat Manchester City a few times but apart from that we never challenged for promotion or even looked good for the play-offs.
Last season, stood on the terrace at your local rivals on Boxing Day. 6-0 down. Rain, Sleet, Hailstone, Snow. Macclesfield Town absolutely hammering you, what can you do? Appointed the saviour, the god and now we are here. Even if we don't get promotion this season he has done a fantastic job, and we'll move on and definitely get promotion next season.
2. Are you going to break the record for most games without conceding a goal on Saturday against us?
I'm going to say no for the simple fact of something I just say. I predicted results at Mansfield, Accrington and Walsall here so I'm going for four out of four! ;-)
3. How much do you know about Swindon Town and where do you think we will finish?
Well I knew about Swindon's demise to League Two, and then the appointment of Wise and Poyet. However, I definitely had my suspicisions that as soon as a higher club came knocking they would do a runner at the first attempt. That's why I believe appointments like Jim Gannon for us are the right way to go about building a club.
Since then I haven't noticed your progress, but considering your still up there means your still winning your games. I know Mr Sturrock is a good manager when he wants to be and he could be the man to get you back up to where you used to be.
4. Which team has impressed you the most this season apart from County?
I'd go with Hartlepool, not only for the fact that they are top, but because they have kept their run going for so long. It takes huge mental and physical strength to stay in the right state for near on four months now. This season there hasn't been a lot of teams that have impressed at Edgeley Park.
5. What player should Swindon Town fans watch?
The whole team. There isn't really one stand out players, they work very well as a unit and all put in performances for each other. The midfield and defence is strong, whilst the strikers are working well together. Hennessey in goals is playing fantastic and I hope that continues.
6. If you could have one Swindon Town player play for County who would it be?
Jerel Ifil, a good steady defender. Failing that, maybe Lee Peacock.
7. What has brought on your resurgence and made you genuine promotion contenders?
The change in goalkeeper. I've been slated for slagging off James Spencer, but he really was nothing at the beginning of the season. We went to the bottom of the league, and then we brought in John Ruddy on loan from Everton. We surged back up the league, until he was recalled by Everton. Then we had a period of losing games, until after the Watford FA Cup game we brought in Wayne Hennessey on loan from Wolves. Eight games played, 0 goals conceded. What more can you ask for?!
8. What has been your highlight of the season thus far?
I'd say three games. The first one was the 5-2 home win against Wrexham. We had just been beaten 3-0 off Shrewsbury at home, and the players were booed off the pitch. We came out that Saturday and blitzed them. Adam Le Fondre, now on loan at Rochdale, scored four and we didn't look back. Then it was the 3-1 win away at Rochdale. We hadn't been playing too well away from home, but we took 3000 to Rochdale at the end of October. We were 2-0 up at half time, and then just finished them off second half. Then the FA Cup game against Wycombe at home. They were on a good run in the Carling Cup, and when they went 1-0 up here I thought that was our run gone. But we found an inspired performance and won 2-1, great Friday night game.
9. Where do you think County will finish this season?
I'm going to say the play-offs. Anything higher will be a bonus!
10. What is your prediction for County/Swindon match Saturday?
Stockport County 0-2 Swindon Town ;)
Vital Swindon Town would like to thank Jack Byrne for answering our questions. You can visit his website at http://stockport.vitalfootball.co.uk
Date:Thursday March 1 2007
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