Pre-Season Preview: Sheff Utd View

Last updated : 01 July 2003 By Rob Cooper
In the second of our pre-season previews we spoke to Paul from Sheffield United MAD who gave us his opinions on Reading, Sheffield United and the teams on their way up and down.

Who do you think will go up?

Next season is going to be tough for all teams involved but I am confident that my side Sheffield United will be in with a shout of promotion. Everyone will be looking at the big three that came down, West Ham will be one of three promoted. Whilst I think the Blades will nick 2nd spot or make it into the play-offs. I expect Forest will finish 3rd.

Who do you think will make the Play-Offs?

If the Blades are not in the play-offs then I think that Reading will be there again along with Forest. I'll chose Palace and Ipswich to be in there as well.

Who do you think will get relegated?

Fans expect the teams relegated from the Premiership to do well, equally everyone will be looking at the teams who came up from Division Two to put on a show.

The champions, Wigan, will have no problems avoiding relegation. My three to go down are Burnley, Coventry (if they don't get there act together) and possibly Bradford as they currently only have 8 professionals in their squad so will struggle, unfortunately.

How do you think your team will fare this season?

The Blades have been linked with a handful of players (including Lee Morris, Kevin Davies, Shaun Goater, Alan Wright and Brian Deane), it's probable that we will only sign one of those players for next term and I would suggest that 'Deano' would be the strongest link out of them. After such a great campaign next season will be difficult.

The Blades are in the limbo at the moment as we need to appoint a new assistant manager. Also, mystery surrounds the future of Michael Brown. However, considering this, I still think that the red and white wizards will be staring the FA Barclaycard Premier League in the face come May.

How well do you think Reading will perform next season?

The Royals were the surprise package last season (not sure if Reading fans would agree with that though). I think they will be up there again next season, if they invest in new players. But if not the Biscuitmen may well crumble!

Which team do you think will prove to be a 'surprise package'?

There were some good teams last season and I think there will be a selection of teams who will do well that perhaps under-performed last season. I think Wigan will be the side to watch. As long as they get off to a good start I reckon they will be in the top half come Boxing Day.

Forest again will make the play-offs, while Norwich will again somehow do well despite having a less-than mid-table side. Another team-to-watch is Crystal Palace, they have two good players in Andrew Johnson and Tommy Black and should make play-offs.

Thanks to Paul Holland,