Hi Luke – thanks for talking to TorquayTalk on short notice, let’s crack on with questions about Sutton Utd before our big game:
How’s your season been so far, has it matched your expectations?
The season has exceeded my expectations, and I’m sure most of the fanbase! I know it’s pretty tight towards the top, but I would have bitten your hand off if you’d have offered me top 5 back in August.
What’s been your highlights and how’s the recent form of the team?
Two of my highlights of the season, was the Dover win after going down to 10 men. Staggering display from our boys just over a week ago. The other highlight for me was the 2-0 win over Eastleigh. Gander Green Lane was rocking, and it’s always nice to get one over Eastleigh.
The recent form has been alright, couple of score draws against teams we should really be beating if we’re looking to win the league.
You follow Sutton around the country, which away trips have you enjoyed most and will you bring many to Devon?
Our away form is actually a lot better than our home form somehow, so I always feel hopeful when we’re on the road. As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed the Dover match, holding on for more than half an hour with 10 men.
As it’s a Tuesday night, I think we’ll be bringing 50 or so. Saying that, our home attendance has been so good lately, regularly exceeding 2000.
Which players should we be looking out for this Saturday?
Personally, I’d be really worried about Tommy Wright if I were you! He hasn’t stopped scoring in the last couple of months, some very important goals too!
You have been in the mix towards the top of the table all season, do you fancy your promotion chances and are you well-equipped to handle the step up to League Two if necessary?
I’m a bit of a pessimist in general, but with only one team getting the automatic promotion spot, I feel like the odds are always against us.
If we were to go up, obviously we’d have sort out the feud with the Football League over our artificial pitch first! But yeah I think that we’d possibly struggle in our first season, but if we manage to avoid yoyoing, and stay in League 2, we can build on that and who knows!
Gander Green Lane is well-known for it’s artificial pitch, does it give you an advantage over travelling teams?
As I mentioned earlier, we’re better on the road, which is quite strange when you consider the artificial pitch. One of the arguments against artificial pitches in the football league, is the home advantage, but we’ve shown so far this year that it really doesn’t favour the home team.
Have you got the right man in charge and what tactics does he employ?
All the fans love Dos (Paul Doswell), and we know he loves the club too. He’s really developed this club and I personally wouldn’t want anyone else in charge. Having said that, we do tend to play a lot of route one and we don’t play the ball around too much. In this division we can get away with it, and a lot of teams do play the same way. However, I would like to see the ball more on the ground.
With many teams struggling behind the scenes in the NL, how’s the current set-up at Sutton?
The artificial pitch really does help us. It allows us to train and host events in the summer on it, which really does cut down the club’s expenditure. As well as the FA cup run last year, which obviously did help the club’s wallet!!
You had an amazing FA Cup run last season, was it frustrating how ‘Pie-gate’ somewhat overshadowed your achievements?
I think you’ve got to look at it quite light-heartedly. To have a team like Arsenal playing at little Sutton was really surreal and I’m not sure if that will ever happen again. Although a lot of people will remember Sutton now as the “Pie Team”, I’m really not too bothered about it!
And finally…last season’s game at Plainmoor was a low point for me as we lost 3-2 to a team with an outfield player in goal! What’s your prediction this time around?
I feel good going into Tuesday’s match, our away form is the third best in the league. I just hope we can perform mid week! I’m going to predict 2-0 to us, but we shall see!