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GILLS VIEW

1. Has your somewhat disappointing season been a surprise to you or did you think you might struggle?

I was absolutely adamant we would win this division until the eve of the season, when Darius Henderson was sold. I thought we'd made the right managerial appointment, and couldn't see how we could fail. I was very, very wrong. Neale Cooper was a terrible appointment, signed some shocking players and this season of struggle has been on the cards since a terrible run throughout September and October.

2. Have the Club regrouped and improved since the end of Andy Hessenthalers managerial reign?

It's hard to say. I personally felt Hess had to go when he went as he'd taken us as far as he could, and we were already on our way down. But, who's to say that if he had stayed we wouldn't be in a better position in League One now than we actually are...

3. Was it a disappointment that Stan Ternent decided to leave or was there internal pressure for him to go?

We were very disappointed to see him go, but as soon as we were relegated, it was on the cards. Stan's a decent Championship manager and demands a decent Championship wage, which we can't afford at this moment in time.

4. Ronnie Jepson seems to be doing a reasonable job, but will your Chairman,who has not always had the best of relationships with Bristol City among others, allow him the time to build a side capable of returning to the Championship?

The list of clubs our chairman hasn't upset is a shorter list than those he has upset these days... Anyway, Jeppo... He's here for the foreseeable future. He's young and hungry, and he says all the right things. There are a few doubts creeping in about him... He doesn't seem to use his substitutes as well as most of us would like, and he keeps going on about giving the young strikers - Akwasi Fobi-Edusei, Gavin Grant and Frannie Collin - a chance, and then not doing so. Grant was an unused sub at Forest on Saturday, the other two weren't even in the squad, yet Tommy Black and Danny Spiller - both midfielders - were employed in attack. Some fans worry that the players who work hard in training get selected over those who are actually competent on the pitch... We've got some shocking players, I tell you...

5.What has been the lowest point of your season? Either the FA Cup defeat at Burscough (2-1 up until the 89th minute, lost 3-2) or the 5-0 loss at Colchester where the fans turned on the players and (rightly) abused them for their 'performance'. There's been plenty of other lowlights too...

6.And what has been the highlight? Gillingham 3-0 Swindon, January 14. We hate them, hadn't played them for 19 years and completely outclassed them. Also worth mentioning is the 2-1 win at Swansea - our only away win of the season so far.

7.I understand that your ground has been considerably improved since my last visit, has this had a noticeable effect on team morale, attendances and crowd
atmosphere?

Not really. The atmosphere isn't great, attendances are terrible and I can't say I've ever noticed the players looking too bothered about the state of the ground!

8.Who would gain your vote as Gills player of the season thus far?

Jason Brown. I keep saying he's 'one of the best' goalkeepers in League One, but I'm doing him a disservice. He is the best keeper in this division. He commands his defence well, is good on crosses and a good shot stopper. Cooper tried to sell him in the summer so that Tony Bullock could be first choice. If he'd managed that, we'd be 24th.

9. Are you confident of beating the drop and who would your four for relegation be?

I'm not at all confident. Some of our recent performances have been absolutely disgusting. The game at Doncaster last month stands out for me... We offered nothing to the game, and if we'd played like that last season, we'd have got turned over about six or seven nil. I think Rotherham, MK Dons, Swindon Town and one other will be the four. I hope it's Walsall, Hartlepool, Yeovil or Blackpool, but genuinely fear it will be Gillingham.

10. What score do you forecast for Saturday?

2-0 to Bristol City.

Thanks to Gills Editor Jon Phipps for answering our questions. We wish the Gills well for the rest of the season, after Saturday.




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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 15 2006

Time: 7:43AM

Your Comments

7-1 to the swans remember that bristol
samlucas1
If he was a car that backfired would he be known as a Cooper Bristol.
pompeygray
 

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