Many thanks to 39-year-old Gills fan Matt Boosey for completing this weeks Trash Talk, as ever we wish Matt and the Gills all the best, just not this Saturday.
Are you happy with your transfer business and is there anything you would change?
I think the players that we have added to the squad on the whole look very solid, & I’m glad we went with more experience than we did at this stage last season. However, I would perhaps have sacrificed one central midfield signing for an additional left back.
What’s your thoughts on your start to the season so far?
It’s been tough. We lost over two weeks of pre-season due to Covid & then players picked up niggly injuries which left us woefully light on numbers. Performances had been patchy (an hour v Lincoln & Morecambe, a half at Plymouth) & not sustained over 90 minutes, but since the break we had due to the International games we’ve looked more like a Steve Evans team again.
It’s still very early in the season but which opposition team/player has impressed you the most so far?
Plymouth have been a real surprise for me, I had them as relegation candidates in pre-season based on how defensively poor they were at the back end of the last campaign, but they’ve tightened up & look a threat going the other way too. For players it’s a toss-up between Antony Scully of Lincoln & Cole Stockton of Morecambe.
How does it feel being back in grounds after so long away?
It’s brilliant isn’t it. First time back for a pre-season game it felt all a little surreal, but you cannot beat the feeling of that match day routine, and even more so if you win.
Do you have trust in your current manager?
Yes, absolutely. We’ve improved no end under his leadership with two 10th placed finishes, & if he’s given the tools to do his job properly, we will continue to compete at this level.
Who do you think we should be looking out for as a major influence on the game?
Defensively we’ve been ok (only conceded more than one in a game once in the league) so it’ll be whether we get enough ball into the right areas at the other end to cause you problems. For that reason, I’ll say Mustapha Carayol and Vadaine Oliver.
Which MK Dons player do you fear the most or see as a game changer?
I think Troy Parrott has started the season terrifically well for you, and he looks twice the player than when on loan in this division last season.
Have you ever been to Stadium MK, if so what’s your impression of it?
I haven’t been for a game, but I was there for a works conference a few years ago. It’s the very definition of the smart modern day bowl style stadia that are fashionable these days.
What style of football can we expect to see from your team?
I imagine hit our front player(s) early and then play from there but won’t be surprised if we also work on getting it out wide to our wingers and then try to hurt you if your wing backs venture too high up.
Who already looks to you to be a title contender, a relegation candidate, and a team that is a bit of a dark horse this season?
Something feels different about Sunderland this season, they look more of a team rather than just relying on the McGeady/Wyke combination. Shrewsbury, I think may struggle, lots of discontent amongst fans on social media, the manager has made some odd post-match comments & even though they beat us I am convinced we would have turned them over if half our match day squad were more than 70% fit. AFC Wimbledon have completely changed the way they set up and could keep surprising people.
Finally, can we have your prediction for the game?
It will hopefully be a good contest between two sides with contrasting ways of playing, and it may boil down to who deals with the others style better. Based on the two games at our place in the last couple of seasons I’m going to say we will pinch it 2-1.