The end is nigh for Southampton’s first season back in the Premier League as it draws to a close later today. It has been a season full of ups and down to say the least. However, the main aim of survival has been achieved so it will count as a successful return to the top flight. Their last game sees the Saints play host to Stoke City who themselves will play Premier League football next season.
Representing Stoke City is Sean Ruane, a.k.a The Hairy Potter. Sean has been following The Potters for 40 years and has just been voted as the club’s Fan of the Year so we send Sean congratulations for the award!
So the final day is upon us! How do you assess Stoke City’s season?
Stoke City have under-performed trying to protect their Premier League status.
Stoke will play in the Premier League again next season, was there any thoughts that you could have gone down?
The quality and tactics of opposing teams from sixth through to eighteenth had left me in no doubt that we would be OK.
There has been criticism surrounding Tony Pulis from a section of the Stoke fans, do you think he deserves to stay or is there time for a change?
Few Premier League managers criticise Tony Pulis, but that doesn’t alter the fact that the fans are always looking for him to evolve the team and play attractive football to get 40 points rather than stifling opposition to get 40 points.
|Pulis has had his critics from some Stoke fans but has guided |
Stoke into an established Premier League club.
Where do you think you need to strengthen in the summer?
No doubt about it that we need a goal-scorer!
Stoke have been in the Premier League since 2008 and have become an established club in the division in the process. Do you think you can progress further?
Financial stability is assured with the BET365 links of chairman Peter Coates and Premier League top 10 finishes but we still lack the demographics to advance and attract the top-rated players.
Who do you think has been Stoke’s Player of the Year?
|Begovic picked up four awards at the club's annual |
awards earlier this week.
What have you made of Southampton in their first season back in the Premier League?
Southampton are enjoying the rollercoaster of the Premier League. However, I can assure you that the passion of the fans show will not wane, but the escalation of wages and the mercenary player merry go round can affect squad harmony and the highs can soon become lows.
Out of the Southampton squad, who has caught your eye and why?
Rickie Lambert plays for his place every match and appreciates the qualities the fans want, by giving 100%.
|Lambert is the second highest English goal-scorer in|
the Premier League with 14.
Do you think Southampton can become an established Premier League club like Stoke?
No doubt, they must seriously develop a team and not bring in big egos.
What is your prediction for Sunday’s game?
I’ve got to be neutral and say 1-1, but in my heart, 17-0 to Stoke!
Many thanks to Sean for taking the time to answer my questions and you can follow him on Twitter: @cosnakickbo.