Date: 2nd January 2009 at 5:55pm
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I’ve asked the Gillingham Editor a few questions ahead of the FA Cup tie this weekend:

1) Gillingham v Villa. Good tie for you folks or would you have preferred someone else?!

Villa’s a great tie for us. We’d have wanted a crack at any Premier League team in all honesty, and I suppose financially it might have been better to be away, but Villa’s an excellent tie. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Villa, you’re playing some decent football and it will be a great tie. That it’s on TV is even better for us, gives us some much-needed money in the coffers.

2) What should the travelling fans expect in their trip to Priestfield Stadium?

To get wet if it rains! The away end is uncovered, so if the heavens open, then you’ll be getting some nice complimentary rain macs from the club. The area around the ground is not the nicest (and by ‘area around the ground’, I could really be referring to the whole of Gillingham), but I’m told the away pub is decent. Expect the noise to be coming from the far end to where you are sat – the Rainham End, but there might be some vocal supporters sharing the Brian Moore Stand with you as well.

3) How long have you followed the Gills and what made you support them?

Since 1987, quite simply I asked which team was closest to where I lived at the time, my old man is a Gills fan and he was only too happy to oblige by taking me there. Been going regularly ever since.

4) How is your domestic season going, is the FA Cup a nice distraction or better out of the way?

We’re just outside the play-off places in a ridiculously tight division. As I type this we’re 10th but only three points worse off than the team in fourth. The league is our priority this season and I still think we’re shaping up nicely for promotion, but the FA Cup run has been a nice distraction.

5) Do you have a realistic chance, are you going to be gunning for a giant killing shock result?

We’ll give our all, that’s all I can say. Of course we’d love to win, but we’re not naive enough to realise that Villa will need to have a hell of an off day for us to have a chance. Our main problem is that we’ve only got two defenders for the weekend because of suspensions, so your strikers could have some fun…

6) Who should Villa look out for as the dangermen?

At the back we’ve got a centre-back called Simon King. Stylish left-footed lad and throws himself in the way of everything. Great in the air too. In midfield we’ve got Curtis Weston, who’s a class act and Adam Miller, who when he’s on form is unplayable in our division. I suppose the main man though is our 11-goal top scorer, Simeon Jackson.

7) It will be interesting to see what sort of team Martin O’Neill fields, he has been known to field the second string in some cup games. Who would you most like to see NOT play for us on Sunday?

Ashley Young, followed closely by Gabriel Agbonlahor. Pace vs the Gills defence is not always something that makes for pleasant viewing for us Gills fans.

8) Finally, lets have your prediction please…! Good luck.

A gallant effort from the Gills but ultimately a comfortable away win.

With thanks to the Gillingham Editor www.gillingham.vitalfootball.co.uk