Writer: Lloyd Reddin
Date:Friday January 27 2012
This week Vital Stoke`s Lloyd Reddin travelled down the A50 to visit the www.dcfcfans.co.uk website to get their views before this weekend`s Budweiser F.A. Cup 4th round tie at Pride Park against Championship side Derby County and Premier League Stoke City.
1. What were your expectations for this season? And have they now changed?
The 464444: Mid-table at the start of the season. Hmm, perhaps we could, maybe, but probably not playoffs.
P. Shilton: Mid table- nope around 12th I reckon
2. Who would you say is your danger man?
Alpha Signia: Jamie Ward. No contest.
The 464444: Ward's our only real creative asset. Theo Robinson's our top scorer and he's reet pacy, but his ball control and decision-making occasionally drive me to the depths of despair.
3. What would you say are your strengths as a team?
Alpha Signia: Work rate. It's what Nigel Clough demands above all else. 100%.
The 464444: Our defence and keeper are looking very, very solid at the moment.
Ladyram: The team have a stirling work ethic - one goes down, he gets picked up by his mates, they stick together.
4. What would you say are your weaknesses as a team?
Alpha Signia: Apart from Ward, we struggle to find ways to breach defences.
P. Shilton: Can Be toothless going forward.
Ladyram: For me, we tend to sit too deep at times.
5. How do you feel about your manager?
Alpha Signia: He loves this club. I don't doubt it for a second. He's too bloody stubborn.
The 464444: Largely supportive. Some of his decisions seem a wee bit strange, but he's done an admirable job undoing the ills of his predecessors and rebuilding the club, so largely, I'd say he's done/is doing a good job.
P. Shilton: Very happy with him, hope he's here for the long haul
6. What are you looking for in the F.A. cup this season?
Alpha Signia: Revenge on Crawley and their horrible manager. Like to avoid being embarrassed by an 'underdog'.
P. Shilton: Coming out of it unscathed, not too bothered to be honest
Ladyram: What every other club wants, a trip to Wembley. We might not win but for DCFC fans everywhere, that would be excellent.
AndyB: Hopefully to get to the latter stages, we haven't had a semi-final for a while (1976 I believe!).
7. We have sold our 5,500 tickets within a few hours at the weekend as it looks like the F.A. cup has hit the imagination of our fans once again, what attendance are we to expect from your lot?
Alpha Signia: Maybe 15k of us? Nothing like our league attendance. Your numbers will flatter the overall figure
The 464444: Not many I shouldn't have thought, 12,13k. No idea why it'll be so few.
8. Is there still the 'magic of the cup'?
Alpha Signia: Not until the QF. The earlier rounds seem to be a pain for all clubs in the top two tiers.
The 464444: Not yet. If we win this game, then perhaps 'cup fever' might weave it's budweiser sponsored tentacles into my cynical, icy heart.
P. Shilton: Not unless we draw a big prem side- no offense but only a top 5 side would get us going.
Ladyram: The magic will come when we find out we're going to Wemberleeeee.
AndyB: No not really, it's never been the same since Man U were allowed to sit it out one year. It would get exciting if we played a top team or Florest (but they're already out ha ha!)
9. Which player (s) do you fear from the Stoke City side?
Alpha Signia: If you play some big flucker on your right side against our decent but tiny LB. Shotton play there?
The 464444: On a personal level, I fear meeting most of the Stoke City squad because they all seem feckin' huge and scary. In terms of on the pitch, I reckon our centre-backs are quite good at dealing with long balls and crosses into the area, so I'll say I'm concerned about how our slightly shaky forward line will do against Huth, Shawcross and the like.
10. Is there any Stoke players you would like to add to your squad?
Alpha Signia: Etherington would be most welcome. What d'ya say? Thought not.
Ladyram: No, our team is coming along nicely ta.
11. How do you think Stoke will do this season?
Alpha Signia: Even if it all goes wrong v Rams and Valencia, it's hardly going to be a poor season for you.
The 464444: Er... incredibly well by the standards of Stoke 6 years ago? To be honest, I try and take as little interest in the premiership as possible, but I'll say 11th.
P. Shilton: Mid table I should think
12. What is your likely line-up for the match?
The 464444: Fielding/ Brayford Barker Shackell Roberts/ Green Bryson Bailey Ward/ Ball Robinson.Would be stunned if it was anything different.
13. Finally, what`s your score prediction for the match?
Alpha Signia: 1-1. and a replay no one wants. Then a 2-0 win for you. But we'll give you a game. Probably a better game than Liverpool gave you.
The 464444: Heart says we'll lose, head says we'll lose, so I'll go for 2-1 to the Rams. Robinson to score both.
P. Shilton: Scrappy 1-2 to your lot. Just hope we don't get a replay!
Ladyram: I don't want to be disrepectful to your squad but our defence and goalie are top notch at the mo. Bearing in mind you're a pacey, prem team, you might get one but I hope we can get one more =D
AndyB: 1-2 to Stoke but I hope not!
Date:Friday January 27 2012
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