BFTGT: What would have to happen this season for you to class it as a successful one for your club?
Mike Delap: Promotion. End of story. The signals that have come out of the club since relegation and over the course of the summer is that we want to go back up at the first attempt. The signings and the money being thrown about by Venky’s this summer suggests as much and of course, his royal motor mouth Steve Kean has been crowing to that effect as well. We seem to be risking an awful lot to hit the Premier League again at the first time of asking so with what’s at stake anything less than one of the 3 coveted promotion spots would be considered a failure.
BFTGT: How do you feel about your club’s business in the transfer window this summer?
MD: Surprisingly good. They’ve made some smart signings in terms of quality even if at times they’ve overspent on wages to bring said players in. Can’t argue with the likes of Dickson Etuhu, Danny Murphy, Nuno Gomes, Colin Kazim Richards and Leon Best joining a Championship team. The influx of Portuguese players is both encouraging and worrying in equal measures, time will tell on those ones.
On the outgoings the exits of Yakubu and Hoilett are damaging but entirely expected. In fact by this point I was under the assumption we’d have lost a lot more. So on the whole, quietly confident.
BFTGT: Who do you think will be your most important player this season?
MD: Danny Murphy. If we can get him in control of games and using his full passing range then we are in business, if he picks up knocks and can’t adapt to the pace and regularity of games in the second tier then we will lose and edge. He is the player the whole side is built around for this upcoming season.
BFTGT: How do you rate your manager’s ability to take your club forward?
MD: Is this a serious question? I don’t think we’ve ever had a worse manager and he is the main component holding us back from actually mounting a serious challenge for promotion. Yes he’s received a fair bit of stick, some justified, some not, but for his sneaky conduct, his constant bullshit and his seriously inept tactics he should not be in his job. It’s really that simple. I’ll suffer him at best but he’ll never win back the crowd.
BFTGT: Who do you think will win the league this season?
MD: I’m hoping it will be ourselves but the division is shaping up to be mighty competitive. I’m going to take my tinted specs off and look elsewhere. Leicester, Forest, Leeds, Wolves and Brighton should all be strong. But for sheer squad quality I’ll go with the least desirable option as a Rovers fan, barring the Clarets, Bolton.