With just 3 days left until the Championship season kicks off once more, Vital Barnsley caught up with Vital Wednesday site journalist Nick for his take on all things Wednesday.
1. What are your expectations for the new season?
Expectations are pretty boring – mid-table.
We’ve the same squad as we did last season, plus Purse and Miller (loanees Potter and Gray have also signed), and we just don’t have the cash at present to go out and buy those quality players that will push us that extra bit further up the table. I don’t think we’ll be in trouble at the other end of the table though, so we’re kind of relying on that investment to come in before January so we can strengthen accordingly in the transfer window, and who knows, maybe push for the play-offs.
2. What players have come in?
Darren Purse and Tommy Miller are both strong additions to the squad. Both very experienced at this level, which is what we needed – two leaders at the back and in midfield. Purse has been handed the captaincy. Darren Potter has also come in permanently after he was here on loan last season. Steady player, got better with time here and hopefully Laws can mould him into a tidy player for us. Michael Gray has also signed a new contract with us, and will add even more experience.
3. And players you’ve let go?
Just the bit part players who we needed to let go, players such as Kenny Lunt and Wade Small who wouldn’t have been in with a shot of the first team anyway. Thankfully Tudgay is still here!
4. What are your thoughts on your manager, Brian Laws?
He’s the man for the job. Turned around the early thoughts of many fans who thought he wasn’t up to it, and people are just waiting to see what he’d be able to do with us if he had the finances. Great in the transfer market considering our budget, but still has the tendancy to lack consistency in his teams/ We’re likely to win five on the bounce and then lose five on the bounce – something which needs sorting.
5. Key players?
Marcus Tudgay is the obvious choice. Top scorer last season, but his contribution to the team was much more than that. Can play either out wide or in attack, hopefully we’ll see him more as a striker this season, his preferred position.
6. Any weak links?
I’d say we’re still lacking that killer instinct that would come with an out-and-out goalscorer. We simply don’t have the funds for one, and are hoping the ‘fox in the box’ Franny Jeffers can finally come to fruition, but it’s a long shot.
7. What’s your most memorable Owls v Barnsley game?
Got to be the 3-0 at Oakwell which was pretty comfortable when we were in arguably the best spell of form we’ve been in for the last decade, en route to promotion from League One. Could have been more!
8. Where do you think Barnsley will end up this season?
Looking at your squad you don’t seem to have strengthened much, and I’d be tempted to put you in the bottom three, but as bad as Davey seems to some fans, he always seems to be able to pull something off to divert the drop, and I think he will this season.
9. Finally, a score prediction?
I’m going for a safe bet – 1-1.
* With thanks to Nick from Vital Wednesday for the questions and answers.
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