Mark Watson on The Championship
Comedian, and Bristol City fan, Mark Watson talks to Blackpool Vital. The recognisable comic has featured in shows such as 'MockTheWeek' recently and also has his own radio programme on Radio 4.
Have you any experiences of Blackpool?
I've not been to Bloomfield Road (though I will one day) but I have seen them at Ashton Gate many times. My main Blackpool memory is James Quinn scoring against us after 12 seconds on the first day of the season, in about 1995. It was a weird moment, like a bad dream - still the fastest goal I've ever seen. Allardyce leapt off the bench to celebrate in front of our fans. It was 1-1 in the end, though.
Do you anticipate us avoiding the drop?
Definitely. All the more so after that spectacular win over Charlton. It's going to be Scunny, Colchester and Preston I reckon.
Given Bristol City`s form in the league this season, shocking many - if not all - people who follow The Championship, how would you feel if Bristol City were actually promoted for the 2nd consecutive season and how do you think they would cope if they did? Is Gary Johnson the man to keep City there?
The question of how we'd cope is the one we're all starting to ask ourselves. I think it's fairly clear we are a lot weaker than Derby, so we should really expect to get absolutely smashed in all 36 games. But it'd be worth it just for that moment of seeing the boys run out at the Emirates...
I think most City fans still can't quite imagine us actually getting promotion. Two in a row is almost impossible in this day and age. But Johnson can do impossible things.
Do you think the success of City will give other teams gunning for promotion from League One that extra incentive to push harder and gain promotion, because the league is so open and anyone, in essence, can beat anyone on any given day?
I hope so. I never thought we'd be held up as an example. I would have settled for narrowly avoiding relegation this year. We were well behind Scunthorpe last season. I think it's great to see clubs like us and Blackpool beating teams who have recently played at the highest level.
Can it be tricky getting to City matches - given that you could be on tour or working a lot of the time?
It is tricky, with weekends being my major working time, and living in London these days. I probably get to about ten games a season. If we do go up though, the rest of my life is going to have to go on hold...
Favourite ever Bristol player?
A young Andy Cole was a bit special, but my favourite would probably be a guy called Greg Goodridge. He was a winger from Barbados or somewhere who fans either loved or hated, because he used to juggle the ball and take on 18 players at once and all that kind of thing. Sometimes very frustating, but a genuine entertainer who won us a good few games with spectacular goals.
Favourite current City player?
The best thing about this side is the 'no stars' work ethic, so in a way, my favourite would have to be GJ, the manager. He has transformed the football club and is definitely our biggest asset.
Is Lee Trundle worth £1million?
Probably not but then, transfer fees are stupid these days really, so who knows? And although he's not got many goals, he has played a part and worked very hard. He does lack a bit of pace though, and in this league you really notice that.
Who's impressed you most in The Championship this season?
West Brom are still the team to beat I think, despite recent jitters. They're a quality side and murdered us at The Hawthorns. They'll win the title I predict.
What was your earliest memory of attending a football match?
My old man is a Bournemouth fan - he took me to see them against WBA when I was six. Bournemouth won 3-2.
What do you love most about football?
If I had to say one thing, it's the way utterly trivial things become so important. It's a waste of a lot of time and stress, but what an amazing way to waste it...
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