Stevie Sees Red

Steve Potts was sent off for only the second time in his career this week - so he now has more red cards to his game than goals!

For a long time it was the other way round following his solitary strike in a 7-1 demolition of Hull City many moons ago.

A sending off at Newcastle United in 1995 for two bookable offences within a minute 'equalised' that, and this week Steve was red carded for a challenge in the reserves' defeat by Arsenal.

"I was last man and brought the fellow down for a penalty, but Scott Minto seemed to think he was coming round to cover, so it was debatable," says Steve.

"That's just the way it goes, it was a split second decision but it's only the second time I've been sent off - so it's not bad, I suppose.

"I think the refs are given strict rules now that they've got to keep to and if they don't they are in trouble themselves; they can't make their own decisions.

"It's not an easy job because they are not left to get on with it any more."

Looking back on 2001, he says: "On a personal note I'd have liked to have played more but that's the way it is - everyone wants to be playing all the time, but that's the way I feel.

"You need big squads, and not everyone can play, but you have to be ready when you are called up.

"It is a good club and we have progressed well lately so hopefully it can continue next year."

Not many players can claim to have played under more than half the managers in a club's history, but Steve can, having played for five out of nine.

"I started with John Lyall, then Lou Macari, Billy, Harry, and now Glenn - there have been a few changes over the years but without a doubt it is still a friendly club," he says.

"Each manager has their own ideas and changes certain things."

He reckons the club are in a good way at the moment and adds: "I would like to think there is optimism; I don't think many people would have given us much chance to get four points against Arsenal and Manchester United so if we can pick up points against the smaller clubs there is no reason we can't finish the second half of the season strongly.

"If you are in the bottom three at this time of the year you know the second half of the season is going to be a struggle, but the key to it is to get a few more points on the board and get comfortable in the middle group of teams; once you are there you can start looking ahead, rather than behind all the time."

Looking at the Leicester game he says: "It will be a scrap on Saturday; there is never an easy game any more.

"You can't take anything for granted and even after beating Manchester United and drawing with Arsenal you just cannot bank on three points against a lesser team - but if the players do as well as they have been there is no reason why we can't do it.

"And in the past we have tended to let things slip against the lower sides, but hopefully things might be changing."

His contract is up this summer - is that a concern?

"It is obviously in the back of my mind but I will cross that bridge when I get to it," he says.

But he admits he wouldn't mind following in the footsteps of Nigel Winterburn, now 38, and he adds: "Nigel is a great example to any player and he is still playing well."