View From T'Other Side: Swansea City

Last updated : 16 April 2010 By Rob Miles (BarnsleyBoy)

After an eighth place finish last season under Roberto Martinez, you now look very good bets for a play-off place under Paulo Sousa. You couldn’t really have asked for a better transition between managers could you?

No, it’s been great to be honest. I can still remember the feeling of dread when Martinez left and seeing some of the names linked to the job didn't fill me with much confidence either (your very own Simon Davey and Aidy Boothroyd being two but the most frightening was Carlton Palmer).

Sousa has done a brilliant job, all things considered and although we've had a pretty bad run throughout March and into April and even though the football hasn't been as exciting as last season it shouldn't detract from what has been an excellent season.

Please don't say we're 'very good bets for the playoffs'!!! The playoffs are still in our hands and a win on Saturday would see some of my confidence return but it’s far from over and I certainly wouldn't put any money on us reaching them.

You’ve scored the least amount of goals in the division but only Newcastle have conceded less and the Swans have been involved in 21 0-0 or 1-0 games. Does this tell the true story, are games featuring Swansea really that tight or is it just case goals just seem hard to come by?

A bit of both. Some games have been very tight with us spending the majority of the time with the ball without really doing too much with it and without really creating any chances.

On the other hand, though, there have been some games that have finished 0-0 or 1-0 that we have dominated but have been very wasteful upfront and if we'd had a decent striker, we'd have won comfortably.

Following on from that, the Swans top scorer this season- Darren Pratley- has hit only six goals, how much have you missed Jason Scotland this season, and is the goal-threat you lost when he left for Wigan stopped you from making an assault on automatic promotion?

Definitely. We have badly missed Scotland this season and I am sure that a lot of people who didn't rate him that highly when he was here have changed their minds somewhat. We are also missing Jordi Gomez (his loan ended last season and then he signed for Wigan) and Ferrie Bodde (Played about 40 minutes, if that, since the middle of November 2008...yes 2008) who could provide goals and assists from midfield.

I would have been interested to see how Sousa would have got on with
Scotland as he likes his strikers to put in a shift and work hard, which is something that Scotland rarely did (and this earned him a lot of critics). That said, the man was a goal machine and I'm sure he'd have been great this season again

Its one win in eight now for the Swans which leaves you just two points inside the play-offs, is there a lot of nerves around the Liberty Stadium at present and do you believe that you will be in that end of season lottery?

Yeah there are quite a lot of nerves at the moment, maybe even fuelled by how hard and how long we laughed at Cardiff for doing last season exactly what we look like doing this season.

I don’t know if we'll make the playoffs, you never know with the Swans but we'll have a better idea on Saturday at 5pm and one thing we do know is that we're in for an exciting couple of weeks

If the table finished as it is now there would be a chance of a Swansea-Cardiff Play-Off Final, from a Swans point of view would you relish that or would you prefer a final against another team so there isn’t the pressure of daring not to lose against your hated rivals as well as trying to win the most lucrative game in football?

The thought of Swansea v Cardiff in the Championship Playoff final makes me feel physically sick. It would be unbearable from the minute the game was confirmed to either the minute it was over (if we won) or for many years to come (if we lost - UNTHINKABLE).

I don’t see how I could go into work or sleep during the week building up to it. I would not be able to think about anything else.

If we get there, I hope to God it isn't Cardiff we face, although I'll probably have had some sort of mental breakdown long before the day of the final so maybe I can celebrate the win in some sort of retreat somewhere

In the last seven meetings between Swansea and Barnsley, the only victory the Reds have achieved was in the penalty-shootout play-off final in 2006, did you attend that game and if so what are your memories of it?

Yeah I attended that game and as you can imagine, my memories aren't very happy ones. In fact, think about your memories of that day and then reverse them. That’s how I felt.

I don’t remember much about the game itself, apart from not enjoying any of it and hardly even celebrating when we scored. I was sat right behind the goal the penalties were taken in (or over, in Akinfenwa's case) and I can remember all you guys celebrating down the other end and they were playing Rocking All over the World by Status Quo. That song still gives me nightmares. We stayed right until the bitter end, sitting the seats, gutted until we were eventually chucked out by the stewards.

In the end though, it has worked out for the best so at least there is something positive to come from it

Because of this record between the two clubs, are you confident of a victory this weekend especially as Barnsley have nothing to play for?

I'm not confident in the slightest

What have you made of the Reds season under Mark Robins this campaign?

I've been impressed (especially doing the double over Cardiff) but I've also been a bit resentful. Rotherham look set to be the only side to let me down in the each way part of my accumulator and they were flying until you nicked him, so thanks for that, you've cost me about £400

Which Swans player should we be most wary of on Saturday and which would you be glad to see out of the exit door this summer?

I don’t know what our side is going to be so it’s hard to say. Sousa's team selections are almost impossible to predict. I think he picks them out of a hat at times.

Kuqi, Pratley, Dyer and Cotterill can all provide a threat, if they play.

There are a whole host of players I'd like to see out of the door. We have a massive squad and a lot of them have no right being here.

Which Barnsley player(s) do you admire?

I've always rated Hume and also Bogdanovic looks a good player too

Score Prediction?

I don’t like doing score predictions as they always come back to bite you on the arse. I think it'll be a tight game though.

I hope all Tykes have a safe journey to
Swansea on Saturday and apart from the result, have a good day. We're having great weather down here this week so if you get a chance, stick 'Mumbles' into your Sat Nav and head there before the game.

Where do you see both sides finishing in three games time?

Both sides will end up with an 'expert' defying top 12 finish. Whether we manage to get in the top 6 is another thing but I reckon both sides will be happy with this campaign.