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Swans' View

 Swans' View

Do you think that moving to a new stadium has helped to build the impetus which is driving the Swans on to a second promotion?

Moving to the Liberty Stadium has certainly given us a huge boost in League 1 this season and you can see the squad is able to play better football on a bigger pitch. The players have more time and freedom on the ball compared to the tight pitch at the Vetch Field.

Off the pitch, average attendances have increased from around 8,000 to 14,000 this season. With a huge increase in income, we've been able to spend over £300,000 in January on strengthening the squad and obviously this will increase our chances of a second successive promotion.


Was the appointment of Kenny Jackett popular with diehard supporters at the time, or were there some fans who were hoping for a bigger name?

I think there were mixed feelings regarding his appointment. The board took a lot of time over choosing a new manager and the chairman especially told us via the local press that they'd make it absolutely sure they were going to appoint the right man for the job.

Ian Holloway and Graham Taylor were both highly complimentary of Jackett when he first arrived and this gave the fans confidence that he could do a good job at the club.

However, 4 games into the season and sections of the crowd were calling for him to go during a 1-1 draw at home to Cheltenham. It also happened in the Carling Cup against his former club QPR, Ian Holloway didn't think it was fair at all and neither did a lot of other fans. There's always a few!


Can Swansea pay sufficiently attractive salaries to keep their best players at the club, particularly if promotion is achieved? What sort of home attendances
do you think you can attract if you are, for example, half way up the championship?

Swansea are paying attractive wages to our best players such as Trundle and if we do get promotion to the Championship, then average attendances should rise to around 16,000 - although that will depend on how well we do. If we struggle, I can't see the attendances rising any higher than that. This again will give us more money to spend on players fees and wages.


Which positions, if any, do you think need strengthening to ensure promotion and survival or better in the higher division?
A recent poll on the Swansea site suggested 72% of the readers wanted another striker. Jackett has strengthened all areas during the transfer window but we still need a target-man. Jackett says he's still on the lookout for a striker although there aren't many available now he said.
Akinfenwa, the heaviest player in Europe, needs to lose a lot of weight before he can provide us with a good target-man and we definitely need one to get the ball down for Trundle and/or Knight.

Kevin McLeod did brilliantly well in a few games at the start of the season but he's back to being lazy and is lacking any effort and commitment.
Goodfellow, another left-winger, has been rumoured to be joining a League 2 club so we may need a winger next summer. Tommy Williams was signed this month but he's more of a left back who we'll need as cover in defence.
Without Leon Britton as well, we don't have any quality natural right-wingers who can beat a man and get a cross in. Adrian Forbes is set for talks over a new deal with us but although I admire the effort he puts in, there's no end product. It also depends really on who leaves in June on what areas will need further strengthening.

Which teams have impressed at Swansea this season and who do you predict will fill the two automatic promotion positions?
Colchester I think have been the best side to play at the Liberty Stadium this season but I can't think of any other club that has stood out.

Hopefully Swansea will fill one of the automatic promotion places but we'll need to vastly improve our form if we want to do that. Huddersfield looked
good earlier in the season but I think they'll finish in the play-offs.
Southend have returned to form and Colchester are also doing well. It'll be tight and consistency will be the key I think to winning promotion this season.

What is your prediction for Saturday's match, do you think that the Swans will complete a double, bearing in mind that Bristol City will be flat out to prove that they are a much better team than you saw at Swansea.

I'm expecting a very tough game from you lot after the thrashing earlier in the season and I'll be happy really with a draw although we are capable of getting a victory. If we do grab an early lead, don't worry, as we've got a habit lately of conceding late goals! I think it'll be 1-1.

Are there any Bristol City players who you think that your boys need to watch out for?

With no disrespect to you, after watching the worst performance by an opposing team ever against Swansea, it's hard to think of a player we'll need to watch out for. I'm sure there'll be a few players who our defence
will need to watch out for now though as I know you've improved since September. Brooker and Murray have both got 9 goals this season so I'm hoping we can keep these players quiet on Saturday.

As a genuine football supporter do you, like me, consider the police restrictions on fans travelling other than on official coaches to be a restriction too
far?

It is a big shame that fans have to travel on the official coaches to gain admission into the stadium and some fans may not bother to make the trip as a result. I was expecting tickets to have sold out by now by I've heard there's still a few hundred left. Bristol City is just over an hour away so you'd expect us to sell 1,500 tickets quite quickly. 3,000 made the 2 and a half hour trip to Swindon on New Year's Eve.


Thanks to Kevin Elphick for taking the trouble to answer our questions and good luck to Swansea City after Saturday.
See my answers to Kevin's questions about the Robins on the Vital Swansea City site - www.swansea.vitalfootball.co.uk

Writer:
Date:Wednesday January 25 2006
Time: 1:23PM

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