Date: 14th March 2008 at 1:41pm
Written by:

When we played in December between a few of you it was basically said that you were ‘undecided’ with how your season was going at that point – is that still the case now?
I was on the fence, quite rightly I think as the league really wasn’t taking a shape at that time. I can now see that we have made great strides this season, our style of play has improved – I wasn’t keen on the early long ball and hoofing tactics – and there is a real team spirit. The team spirit I think is what has kept us up at the right end of the league this year and has been crucial because of our lack of numbers. To be fair we have also been very lucky with a lack of injuries, it was a big risk but it appears to have paid off!

You were also between you ‘unsure’ on Martin O’Neill’s signings from last summer and felt you needed more in January, particularly a right back – did you get what you wanted?
We did need more, I think MON would be the first to admit that, but for whatever reason the players he wanted weren’t available. I wasn’t as disappointed or surprised by the lack of January signings as the top teams don’t let their best players go half way through the season. I was, like many other fans, gutted at the lack of summer signings though! We did get Wayne Routledge from Spurs and I think he’ll end up a good signing for us, although he is yet to appear for the first team. A right-back is still needed and major spending has to happen this coming summer and I have faith it will. You can only ride your luck for so long but what this season has proved is we have some great talent already at the club and just need to build on that solid foundation.

‘Carew, Young and Agbonlahor’ were the men that you said Pompey should watch in our last meeting – are these still the danger men for us now?
Yes, that trio on their day are a menace and hopefully they will know just how serious this game is to our (and your) European aspirations. We also have the very solid Martin Laursen who can defend like a warrior and is our third top scorer just to add the icing to his considerable cake!

Sorry Mr Fear, I could not resist you said ‘I doubt your defenders will be able to keep up with Ashley Young!’ Having sat with you for the game, and spoke about this very subject at the time lets talk about this statement and how it actually was?
I have a short memory, we won with ease didn’t we? :o(

Where do you reckon Villa will finish this season then?
6th and just outside Europe but with a win in the Inter Two Bob, we’ll be back in the Uefa. We are amongst a very few who could finish higher but ….. I do think with one or two more signings last summer, we’d have been realistically challenging 4th. But then, who knows, the extra players brought in might have upset the balance!

What about Pompey?
My feelings exactly… oh sorry, I see what you mean. Err, if you beat us (you won’t!) you are in the mix for 6-7th. The FA Cup run is an impressive one, I would imagine you must be favourites for that now, although I’d love a non Prem team to win for the romance of the cup!

I pray we do – and we will probably never have a better chance again, but I would guess that you desperately want us not to win the FA cup; as if we do it will reduce the European places via the league even more.
Correct sir, although I think only 5th would get us into Europe anyway so not sure you winning it would make a massive difference, for 6th to get Europe we really need the top four to win the Carling Cup and FA Cup.

I remember you saying ‘Matty Taylor, your right back or Niko Kranjcar’ when asked which Pompey player you would take from our squad and put in yours – any changes on these thoughts?
My thoughts change daily or hourly to be honest. I am still confused as to why we let David James leave Villa though, he should have been our number one and we’ve never replaced him with better.

You all went for Villa wins last time; I went for a Pompey win – I was right? So go on then who is going to win this time Pompey or Villa?
Yes and there was me kind enough to invite you to our gaff, did you invite me down to yours? Not on your life. Was it something I said!? I feel deeply wounded! ;o) Villa win, only thing that I can consider at this point as it is a crucial 3 points. A draw would just about do but then, we could then be seeing a gap open up above us and the chasing pack closing in.

Questions answered by The Fear from Vital Villa.

My answers to The Fear can be found by clicking here.


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