Stoke City v Barnsley: View From T'Other Side

By Rob Miles (barnsley Boy)
Last updated : 24 February 2007

Stoke sit on the verge of the play-offs, has this season been better than you expected?

I along with most level headed people expected a top ten finish, now that the chairman has backed the manager to the hilt and brought in those players, we are still hoping to at least get the play offs, with many of the top ten teams still to play each other, I feel that this division still has a few twists as shown by Cardiff last night

Lee Hendrie, Patrick Berger, Salif Diao, Dominic Matteo, that's an all star line-up have they been crucial to your rise up the table?

The two most influential signings have been that of Lee Hendrie and Salif. Lee gets most of the plaudits from the press, but the unsung hero in the middle is definitely Salif. He just does the work of breaking up play and playing it to the more creative players, he has been superb, Berger has gone back to Aston Villa, but Matteo is a quality replacement who can slot in when needed.

Tony Pulis, Iv heard he's a bit of a legend at Stoke, can he lead you to the Premiership?

Much division regarding Tony Pulis within the fan base, many are very much Anti Pulis, but there are quite a few of us who would rather he does his best and ignores the negative fans who seem to gloat at every loss that we as a club have. I personally think he's done a terrific job and can lead us to the Premiership, not only that, but he is the type of manager that can actually keep you there.

Who should us Tykes fans be wary of in the Stoke ranks?

Strange as it may seem, any of our back four, with special note on set pieces to Danny Higginbotham who is our skipper, good in the air and has a good shot, he is also among our top scorers, from the midfield, it will be Salif, or if John Eustace plays any part then he is another one, many teams concentrate purely on Lee Hendrie, often doubling up on him, this then leaves space for Darel Russell and Salif to exploit the spaces. If Barnsley try to play an open game, then we will beat you.

Where do you see Barnsley finishing up come May?

I'd like to see you survive to be honest, I think Southend will go down, but like most supporters can't wait for Leeds to sink without trace. QPR will be the third team to go in my opinion

Prediction for the game?

If you play an open game, then 2-0 Stoke, if you try to stifle us and close down and work your nuts off, then it will be a 1-1 draw

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