Vital Gas Interviews: Jaffa Gas
1) Why and when did you become a Gashead?
My first game was in the 1972/73 season. At that time, a number of my school friends were reds and I was starting to lean that way. My uncle, a life-long Rovers supporter, got to hear of this and decided he had to act quickly, so took me along to my first game, a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa. Even though we lost, I was hooked from that day on.
2) What is your best memory being a Rovers fan?
2nd May 1990. Even Igoe's goal at Wembley can't top that and it's hard to imagine that anything ever will!
3) If you could bring back one Rovers player at his best, who would it be?
Frankie Prince. Our midfield has been a problem for years now and someone like Frankie would sort it out!
4) How do you think John Ward did last season?
I think he worked a miracle. At Christmas, if you'd offered me guaranteed survival in early April, I'd have bitten your hand off.
5) Best and worst moments of last season?
I'll start with the worst - 4-0 at Port Vale. We were shocking that night and I really couldn't see how we were going to get out of the mire at that point.
The best has to be the 3-0 win at Fleetwood. The best I've seen a Rovers team play in a long time and that's the point at which I was confident we were going to be ok.
6) Do you think Mark McGhee was given to much time, not enough time or was it timed just right?
For a long time, I was against sacking yet another manager, so I think the board were right to give McGhee the chance to turn things around. But it got to the stage where it was clear that that wasn't going to happen and there really was no choice. Just about right, I think.
7) Its been said only one more player will come in (John Joe O'Toole Maybe) do you think that's enough?
If we can get JJ, I'd be reasonably happy with that. Ideally, I'd like to see a right-sided midfielder and maybe a natural goal scorer added, but I think we have to be realistic, given the financial situation and FFP rules.
8) Any players you would like to see leave Rovers?
I have to say, Matt Gill. I just can't see that his contribution during his time here has been worth what we must be paying him. Maybe he'll prove me wrong this season, but I doubt it.
9) Favourite current Rovers player?
The man who, had there been such an award, would have picked up the 'most improved player' title last season. Michael Smith.
10) Favourite player of all time?
Tricky one this, but I started watching in the Smash & Grab era, so I'll have both Warboys and Bannister!
11) What our your expectations for the coming season?
I've given up having expectations, they only lead to tears.
12) Your opinion on Nick Higgs and the board?
I think Higgs is a genuine guy who wants the best for the club. However, I suspect he has been too easily influenced by other board members who have their own agendas. If, as seems likely, we actually end up getting the new stadium, he will deserve all the plaudits he gets. For me though, there is a big black cloud hanging over the club, that will only be dispersed when a certain olive branch finds its way to a certain person!
13) With the build of the UWE to start soon, what would you like to see added to the design?
I think the design is pretty good for what it is. I just hope the board do everything they can to fill the thing.
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