Hollins Talks More Bollox

Tuesday, 1 May 2001, 0:00
1 min read

‘It’s not all doom and gloom here. ‘When I joined the club there were 24 players here all tied down on contracts. But now we’re in a position to release a lot of players and make changes.’

Fifteen Swansea players are out of contract in the summer and Hollins said,

‘We’ve gone down and that hurts but it’s not as if I’ve got 29 players that I can’t get rid of because they’re all on long contracts. ‘The squad will be made smaller – but there will be plenty of quality in it. And because it’s smaller it means the new owners, whoever they may be, will be able to add to it. ‘I think the place is in a healthier state than when I first arrived although most people won’t view it that way because we’ve gone down. It depends which way you see it – is a glass half full or half empty? ‘I think the squad is in better condition now because I am in a position to make improvements.

When I first came here I inherited somebody else’s players. We won the championship with those players but the club also finished fifth from bottom with them in Division Three.’ Added Hollins, ‘I’m already planning for the pre-season. We’re not sitting still. We’re working. Being relegated hurts, but we’ve got to get on with it.

‘We’ve had a lot of injuries and to key players like Jason Smith and Steve Jones. If you look at our usual defence (Roger Freestone, Mathew Bound, Jason Smith, Michael Howard and Steve Jones) they have only played together eight times this season. ‘They were together for the first five games. We lost only one of those matches and kept a clean sheet in four of them.

(Well if Steve Jones was such a key player why did you let him go on a free transfer! – Editor)

‘We’re all geared up to challenge for promotion next year. I will have players here who know how to get out of the Third Division.’

The Swansea manager also dismissed reports that Wales Under-21 winger Stuart Roberts is poised to join Premiership club Southampton. ‘I’ve spoke to Stuart. He’s not decided whether to sign for us and he’s not decided whether to leave.

He’s not made up his mind yet. Of course I’d like to keep him because he’s a talented young player,’ said Hollins.

Pic courtesy of Duncan Thomas (http://www.lofft.freeserve.co.uk)

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Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

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