Date: 2nd June 2006 at 12:52pm
Written by:

‘couchpotatoe’ provides us with his answers to the final Fan Interview of the season.

1. So we lost in the play-off final this season, how has this season rated with others in recent memory? Could you call it a success considering where we were just a few years ago?

I suppose in one way it is a success considering we won the FLT and FAW Cup
once again but we were just one more game away from playing the likes of
Leeds, Sunderland & W.B.A so when you think of it like that then it brings
us right back down to earth with a bump. Overall though it was definately a
great season excluding that last match.

2. Some fans have criticised Jackett throughout the season (mostly post
Christmas time). Can you understand some fans frustration or is criticism
harsh and undeserved?

I can understand when fans start playing the blame game a lot because the
Swans have a good and passionate following so you can see why people get
angry when we do bad and its usually the manager who is targeted.

During that Christmas time he was getting a bit of abuse that was over the top from
fans especially when I hear calls for Kenny to be sacked especially when we
lie in the play-off zone. It did seem at times that Kenny wasnt tactially
correct but I still rate him as a great manager.

3. We showed at the start of the season that we had a squad good enough to
go up automatically but we ended up finishing 6th, what areas of the squad
do you think needs to be strengthened in order to gain automatic promotion
next season?

First thing that pops in my head here is defence and partically in the
central areas.

Tate was our player of the year and rightly deserved it for
his contribution on that right side of defence and hopefully Ricketts will
perform all of next season like he did in the Play-Off Final in Cardiff. One
other position I think we need to look at is some option on the Left Wing.
We need a good 1st team regular there.

4. On the flip side then, who do you think we should release this summer and
why?

I cant really think of many players we need to release but if we want more
players then sacrifices are needed to take place. We are already 3 players
down and if we are looking to strengthen the defence then I wouldn’t be
surprised if players such as Austin and Iriekpen are left behind.

5. What have been your best moments of the 2005/06 season?

FLT Final is up there with the best as it was our first ‘real’ (no offence
to the FAW) piece of silverware we have had for a few seasons but other than
that I loved the Forest away game in mid-season.

We took a great crowd as usual and our performance was superb with a deserved 2-1 win. There are many more I could mention but those would be my top 2.

6. Some fans have said that we’d be better prepared going into the
Championship the season after next as to going up this year? What are your
views on this?

We would be in one way with a more stable side. Going up straight away might
have seen us crash and burn straight away making quick signings to
immediately strengthen the squad so we are better prepared that way.

Promotion this season I think will be harder though. We do have a stronger
squad but we are expected to walk it this upcoming season and that will put
a hell of a lot more pressure on the side.

7. Who in your opinion was Kenny Jackett’s best and most important signing
of the season?

For a bargain price and goals when we needed them I’d say Leon Knight. The
man fell out with his manager at Brighton and Kenny realised a good player
and a much cheaper price should be and turned out to be a good move.

Along with Knight I have learned to love Owain Tudor-Jones. Seeing a young player
like him make his way into the 1st team as an unexperienced player was a
great start and I always love to see Welsh players do great stuff for us.

8. What do you think was the reason for our decline and significant drop in
form at the turn of the year? Did Jackett’s January signing’s affect our
rhythym and consistency of our starting team and style or was it something
else?

Yes I do agree. Usually when several new players make their way into the
starting XI then the other players usually need to learn a lot about their
play and for the new boys it takes time to settle in and I think this did
affect us at first.

9. It was quite a surprise to see doing well right from the start, what was
your prediction for this season and di you believe we’d maintain our form to
go up or did you think we’d begin to drop down the table slightly like we
did?

My prediction was for a mid-table finish and I would have been very happy
with that at the start of the season so I was very surprised and happy with
the start we made this season.

There again I wasn’t surprised we slowly started to slip up considering we were a newly promoted team but the worst thing about this was in January when we were splashing a lot of money out on players but just seeing no affect for quite a while.

10. Who did you vote as your player of the season and why?

Leon Britton would have been the man for me as he has been so consistant to
a high quality pretty much every single game and I was quite dissapointed
that he weren’t included in the final 4 shortlisted players.

Out of those 4 my pick was Andy Robinson. He has been so great for us being involved in
creative plays that win us games and his determination at times was
fantastic. The amount of goals he has scored in the league this season were
so good strikers would brag about it so for a midfielder he can pat himself on
the back there.

11. I have mixed feelings about next season, I think we can bounce back and
gain automatic promotion but another side of me believes we won’t even
manage to get into the play-offs, what are your views on this?

My Heart says Champions but my head says struggle. I know a lot of people
say building on the squad is a must for the Swans but I think getting too
many players will upset the balance a lot.

We only need to get the players for those positions we struggled in this season so do that and everythng should turn out great. Automatic Promotion please!

Couchpotatoe