The Gills face Brighton on Tuesday night, with both sides hoping to build on a winning start. Brighton fan Simon Tipple – found on www.footballforums.net – steps into the chair…
1) You’ve come down from the Championship this season. We did it last year and struggled – do you think you’ll fare any better?
Hopefully. We haven’t lost too many important players over the summer. The only losses are Paul McShane who returned to Manchester United and Seb Carole who has signed for Leeds. Mark McGhee has a very good track record in this division, as do a number of our players. So we’d like to think we’ll push for a play-off spot but there are so many sides with similar ambitions.
2) When I look at your squad, I wonder where the goals are coming from. You don’t seem to have replaced Leon Knight properly since he left from Swansea… Or have you?
This is the big question mark over our promotion ambitions. The only striker we’ve signed is Alex Revell from Braintree. He scored 37 for them last season and took his goal at Rotherham very well. The obvious pick is Colin Kazim-Richards. He’s got the ability, but like Leon, some fans question his attitude. Then there’s Jake Robinson and Joe Gatting; two products of the youth system who have looked very promising.
3) Colin Kazim-Richards is my man to watch for your guys this season – what does he bring to the team?
He’s quick, strong, very much a flair player. Most of his goals are belters from distance. He has tended to produce for us when coming off the bench and has struggled to perform over 90 minutes. Bags of talent, often frustrating but still young.
4) Alex Revell got the winner at Rotherham after his summer move from Braintree. Do you think he’ll be a good signing for you?
A couple of seasons ago Maheta Molango scored for us seconds into his debut on the opening day up at Reading. He hardly featured after that! Alex has done well so far though, took his goal very well. I don’t think he’s the next non-league sensation but he could be a useful player for us this season.
5) Is Mark McGhee the right man for the Seagulls?
The fans are very much divided over this issue. His track record in this league is very good and I think he’s the right man to take us forward. The board are looking at the long term future of the club and would accept a mid-table finish if we develop the younger players but McGhee wants to do better than that.
6) What about off the pitch? How’s things going with the new stadium?
It’s a joke. Lewes District Council are taking us to the High Court for no reason, other than to delay us. The High Court hearing is to be held in December but the club want the same outcome as Lewes District Council. The only outcome of the court hearing will be that planning permission is quashed whilst Ruth Kelly, Secratary of State, is asked to reconsider a number of points made by Lewes DC. We’re happy for her to do that, but Lewes refused our offer and took it to the High Court wasting thousands of pounds worth of money.
7) Looking at League One as a whole, who do you think will be the teams to watch this season?
Other than the obvious candidates I think Tranmere and yourselves will do well. Tranmere have made some good signings and you appeared to find some form towards the end of last season. I also think most people are overlooking the relegated sides. Crewe have some good players in Billy Jones and David Vaughan.
8) What about the Gills? Do your fans still have a touch of animosity towards us over the groundshare? And how do you think we will fare this season?
I don’t think anyone really cares about the groundshare anymore. Its history now. At the end of the day, we had to play somewhere. I think you’ll be upper mid-table this season.
9) Who are the men to watch on Tuesday – and which Gills players are you most worried about?
Colin Kazim-Richards and Tony Stokes (on loan from West Ham) look like the most likely to produce something special. I’ll be looking out for Matty Jarvis. He could be a threat down the wing.
10) And finally, who will win?