Date: 2nd October 2007 at 12:03pm
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Swansea City midfielder Darren Pratley has talked to the press about some of the criticism he has received from the fans this season.

by geth
‘He may not contribute a load of goals but he is the one who starts most of our attacks.’

Many fans including some on on our forum have criticised the 21 year-old for his defensive style of play and lack and forward movement in midfield.

Some fans have asked What he offers to the team? while others say we need a more attacking player alongside Ferrie Bodde.

After a poor performance away at Cheltenham a few weeks ago, Pratley was dropped from the side to face Leeds 8 days later.

He was soon reinstated into the starting line-up though as Brighton visited the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Pratley explained his style of football that annoys some of the fans. He often turns away from goal, passing back to the defence or sideways, but he says he’s trying to maintain possession:

‘If you know the game, you’ll know that if the pass isn’t on you don’t play it,’

‘What do you want me to do? Do you want me to blast it forward or keep the ball and wait for a better opportunity to play it.

‘I’ve always been taught that it’s best to keep the ball, so if there’s no pass on I will always look to keep it whether that means playing it sideways or backwards.’

‘Players aren’t stupid, we all read the papers,’

‘I’ve seen in the fans’ comments in your paper that I’m a weak link and that I shouldn’t be playing.

‘It makes me laugh because I know how things can change. When you’re winning certain fans are your best mate, when you’re losing they can turn on you.

‘I know that if I get a goal against Swindon, they will think I’m great again. It’s not nice getting the criticism, but that’s just the way it is.’



Criticism of Pratley can be harsh during his games as one thing he doesn’t lack is effort and determination, though I do agree with fans over his poor style of play in midfield.

He often fails to pick out an attacking forward pass when our wingers and front men are unmarked and in space and giving it back to the defence is obviously going to anger the fans.

We’re not scoring frequently enough at home and when you see attacking moves avoided because of this then it becomes more and more frustrating as the game goes on.

Ferrie Bodde to pick out forward passes more often but this constant criticism of fans during games has to stop.

What are your opinions on Darren Pratley’s style of play? Should he be starting games?

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