Opposition Focus: Southampton
As Roberto Martinez prepares for a tough season ahead in the Coca Cola Championship we will at Vital Swansea turn our attentions to our new opposition. Today is the turn or Southampton FC
The Saints avoided relegation to league one thanks to a 3-2 win over Sheffield United on the last day of the season. Throughout the season the south coast side looked safe in mid table but their form from January onwards took them to the brink of relegation. In truth the problems for the club started two years ago but in the summer of 2007 things deteriorated at the club.
George Burnley left the club to take the reigns of the Scottish national side , player sales and problems with the management of the club all led to the problems on the pitch. Appointing Nigel Pearson from Newcastle with just over half the season gone gave hope of a turnaround at St Mary's but even a last gasp win over The Blades and Stoke holding Leicester City to a thrilling 0-0 draw on the last day of the season could not save Pearson's job. Saints chairman Michael Wilde sacked the former West Brom manager and in his place installed Dutchman Jan Poortvliet in his place.
Poortvliet has been quiet in the transfer window so far this summer with 5 new players coming into the club. Arrivals include former Luton Town defender Chris Perry, Derby's Lee Holmes and Plymouth Argyle's Paul Wotton all on free transfers with French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin being the most expensive signing of the summer costing Southampton £1.2 million from RC Strasbourg. Vital Southampton's Scott Gordon gives us his views on the Saints chances next season.
Scott Gordon (therainmaker)
2) How Long have you been supporting your club?
5 years as player. 13 years as fan
3) How Do you rate your chances this season?
Id say we have about 50/50 chance of going up. Id be happy for us to make it to the play offs and go up that way, but obviously going up is a must. To be honest though, anything is better than last season.
4) What do you think of Swansea City can they cause an upset?
It will be vital for them to make a good start. Two former team mates of mine - Dennis Lawrence and Gary Monk - will be key to you guys making an impact on the league. Can you go up? Why not, anything is possible.
5) Who do you think is your clubs and Swansea's biggest threat?
The three premiership clubs that came down last season will surely pose a threat. I think Bristol City and Charlton will be pushing this year again. I think the whole league will be wide open.
6) What places can you recommend visiting fans go to i.e pubs , hotels and places to visit?
I highly recommend visiting Leisure World. Everything housed under one roof. Also if you have been to the city before and know where the old Dell used to be, pay a trip to see what is there now. Lots of shops as well. All in all a great city.
7) Any other thoughts.
Good luck for the season. Hope we have two great games.
Over the course of the next few weeks we will bring you more insights into our new opposition,tomorrow we will focus on Nottingham Forest.