Fans' Forum - 4 February 2002

The following notes from the Fans' Forum that took place in Shooters, at the Madejski Stadium, on Monday 4 February were supplied by RFSC.

Present: Alan Pardew, Kevin Dillon Phil Parkinson and Graeme Murty and lots of members.

Before the questions the members were updated on the following:

Questions to AP, KD, PP and GM

It will be a tricky game on on Sat with Mr Caskey coming back how will he be subdued?
AP: no free kicks near the penalty area for sure (nb PP but as he is suspended..).

Do you think Rouge's strength goes against him. Does it matter that he hasn't scored?
KD: It depends on referee, the Wigan ref let him get away with it, but at Huddersfield the ref blew for everything. He is making things happen, so it doesn't matter if he doesn't score.

Met a Stoke fan who said he grew up with GM in Glasgow, are you Scottish?
GM: No he made that up but my dad is from Glasgow so do qualify as scottish.

What happens in the pre match huddle?
PP: It varies, for instance on Saturday it was Adie who said it was a tough game but usually by then they are all ready for the game.

AP - you have a better eye for a bargain than my wife - who is the best buy so far?
AP: Hot news: we have just bought a striker from Walton. All pros impressed by Nicky Shorey in particular but there are a lot of good un's bought and inherited good un's.

Is it true Curo is going to Brentford?
AP: No a lot of rumours on the websites, which can be damaging to the team. At the moment Curo it is very hard on him as he is razor sharp and working hard to get back in the team,

With PP and Jones suspended on Saturday are you tempted to go 4-3-3?
KD: No

You have worked to get the wage bill down, what happens when we are in Div 1?
AP: Not spoken with the Chairman about div 1, get the job done first.

Was the wage bill the reason Caskey could go?
AP: Caskey didn't fit in the way the team was to play, hope he plays well Saturday and we thump them 4-0.

How is Martin Butler?
KD: Looking fit, jogging and aiming for end Feb.

GM - when you came you were a right winger, where do you want to play?
GM: Don't care as long as I am fit and in the team.

PP - your new contract is for coaching as well as playing, are you coaching?
PP: No it will happen when I hang up the boots, need to concentrate on playing while in the team.
AP: I said you could do some coaching to get you to sign the contract. Youv'e no chance!

Contracts, for out of contract players?
AP: John Mackie was on a contract for a non-league, new contract this week and has shown loyalty to RFC now he has hit good patch (Official site now announcing he has signed).

With only two fit centre backs who is on standby?
AP: A problem with Chris retiring and Barry Hunter going to Rushden, Adie Viveash is starting training. Parky is on standby, Darius is playing there in the reserves, Murts can play anywhere!

How is Phil Whitehead?
KD: Started training, maybe two weeks away, he is now smiling as he is back on the training ground.

Are we going to sign another keeper permanently?
AP: Fulham had another agenda so signing Marcus Hahnemann was not going to happen.

Mentioned barracking during the game, do you ever feel like giving up?
AP: Had a tough time at Palace which hardened my shell. Not nice, especially when we are on top of the division and nine points clear.

How does it matter if the crowd makes a noise?
PP: Noise means there is extra adrenaline flowing, like against QPR, especially when we are defending get behind the lads as it really does help them.
AP: We need to get the stadium behind the team and stop visiting managers using the frustration of the home fans to get at our team. I asked for the forum now as it was being scheduled for March - that is too late for fans forum, as it will all be over and the fans are needed now.

From the floor: Fans are afraid in case it backfires as we have got so close before.
AP: But we must not think negatively, good times in football don't come often, so while we are doing it lets enjoy it.
1000 away fans make a noise, especially as crowded together but that is the noise needed at home and it makes the game more enjoyable to be that involved.

Is it possible to give details on Martin Allen departure?
AP: No
From the floor: It's history - lets look forward

How happy are you with your achievement here and how much more is there to achieve?
AP: My goal is to lay the foundations so that when I get the sack there is a solid base left here to be recognised later in my career. Young players, Joe Gamble, Andre Bouchard etc are giving the Academy strength. Kids coming through now are best kids for a long time and can hold their own with established pros. We are now releasing players who are coming back into league and being a success, proof of success of academy.

How does this team compare with championship team?
PP: That year we were lucky with injury and had a much smaller squad (if that squad had had the injuries we have had this season we would not have been champions). This squad is stronger, team player for player close but the whole squad.

How is Matt Robinson?
KD: He has played well in reserves and so now on the bench.

Are we doing anything different on disciplinery front?
AP: Fair play league is based on fouls as well, not just cards. Last year two wide players gave away a lot of free kicks. We have tried to stop free kicks, no rash diving in.

Contract for Sammy Igoe?
AP: Concerned about his consistency, if he stays in team he would get contract. Other players out of contract this summer: Matt Robinson changed the team with Martin Butler when he came so and has a chance. As has Neil Smith. The whole squad has contributed positively to this season and that is unusual.

Is it policy to get cards for dissent fewer?
AP: Dissent can be frustration, but that is less likely when we are successful. The team is not so aggressive and in you face as last year.

GM, you missed games at the start of your RFC career but not now. What is the difference?
GM: No sympathy any more, a change of attitude to not accept being out of the team.
AP: The turning point was the air ambulance at the training ground, players have never let him forget.

Alan how do you stop Zamora?
AP: Brentford marked him with Powell (who AP had in the reserves but TB2 wouldn't take him). He can be marked out. Players involved will watch him before Monday.

Howdo you see the competition in Division 2?
AP: Dangerous to comment on competition, like the Stoke manager gave us last week. Not about anyone else, just us, if we keep winning they can do nothing about it.

If Phil Whithead not fit can we get Shaka back?
AP: It has taken 14 months to get one Trinidadian fit, not another one!

Why can't Fozzy buy a penalty?
AP: He is too fast and so when touched goes flying - he is a very honest pro.

Is Wigan best performance of season so far?
GM: From the players point of view it was the one we wanted to win so far, as second best team after us so wanted to tonk them. Work rate and team work made it the most pleasing.

Is Eric Hall agent of our players?
AP: Fozzy, but Eric was ill when we did his contract.

Team playing well and thanks from us all.

KD announcement: Andy Hughes goal celebration after Col U (AH, GM and SI), going to do the celebration for They Think its All Over so keep watching.

Following the Q&A session:

Thanks to RFSC for the above information supplied to Hob Nob Anyone?

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