2009-2010 Championship Previews

Last updated : 06 August 2009 By Rob Miles (barnsley Boy)

Manager: Roberto Di Matteo

Odds to win: 6/1. Odds for Promotion: 13/8


Position: 20th (Premier League) W:8 D:8 L:22 F:36 A:67 Points: 32

Top Scorer: Chris Brunt (8)

FA Cup: Fourth Round

League Cup: Second Round

Yellows: 66 Reds: 1

Results against Reds: N/A


Name: Iain Bate (www.westbromwichalbion-mad.co.uk)

Club: West Bromwich Albion

Level of Interest:( I.e Now and then, Every other week, season ticket holder etc)

Home season ticket holder; occasional away traveller.

How has pre-season gone for you?

Well the opener against Histon was a disappointing loss but after that we've done OK so far.

Are you pleased with the signings your club has made?

So early into pre-season we've only signed a couple of players. Simon Cox looks exciting so hopefully he can carry on his form at Swindon where he scored for fun.

What realistically are you aiming for this season?

We've got to be aiming for a top-six finish next season. If we had the stability of the old management team in place then I'd say top three but you never know what's going to happen with somebody new in charge.

Which player has past his sell by date?

We've got Dean Kiely who is 39 but he's still as fit as a fiddle. There's nobody else who is particularly old in the squad however there are a few of Mowbray's former signings which should never have joined the club.

Have you got the right manager in charge?

We'll have to wait and see. Roberto Di Matteo did a good job at MK Dons but it's a step up again at Championship level. Hopefully he gets the players winning games sooner rather than later.

What advice would you give him?

To shore up the defence! Whilst our football was nice to watch last season our defending, at times, would not have been out of place at your local park on a Sunday.

Who do you see as your key player?

Although we finished bottom of the Premier League we've got a very talented squad. In goal there is Scott Carson; defence we've got Zuiverloon, Cech, Olsson; midfield there is Morrison, Brunt, Koren, Greening - if he doesn't leave. So there is a few to be honest who will catch the eye next season.

Who would you most like to beat this season?

Without the Wolves in there is doesn't really matter. I suppose it'll be important to start well and beat Newcastle. I think if you do the double over them you'll do well.

Where will you finish?

I'd be happy with a top six finish after the past regime leaving.

How do you rate Barnsley's chances next season and where do you think they will finish?

I'm not too sure to be honest. You always seem to be relegation favourites but never seem to go down. Bottom ten finish I reckon.