SO, four games gone: two draws, two defeats, no wins, eight goals scored, a dozen conceded, and three red cards to boot. Interesting times.

It is also a fact that we have yet to hit the back of the net in the first 45 minutes of a match this season. When Flynn says the Reds are "traditionally slow starters", I used to think he meant his team has trouble winning fixtures in August and September, not that it has trouble finding the back of the net in the first half of games. But maybe I misinterpreted him.

The Dragons boss has a habit of repeating the "slow starters" mantra every autumn. But to be honest, I've not heard him utter the magic words in 2001, even though he has had plenty of reason to do so.
  
When he's used the phrase in previous years, I've always wanted to say to him: "Brian, it doesn't always have to be that way. Your team is not programmed to start the season slowly. It's not a law of the universe or a biological fact. It's your job to change things!"
  
In fact, I often feel the urge to respond to comments attributed to Flynn in the media. In recent weeks, for example, he's said a lot of interesting things and I really wish I could have engaged him on a few key points.

This is (a) what he has said, and (b) what I would have said by way of reply:

HIM: "I think we have to keep things in perspective. We're only three league games into the season. We cannot expect things to be perfect on day one."

ME: "Fair enough, but fans, and prospective fans, need to see a team growing, progressing and improving. The last eight years have all been much of a muchness. One season soon, you've got to build a promotion-winning team."

HIM: "We've got a young side, a new back four, a young goalkeeper and players still learning their trade. We have to be patient with them, that's the most important thing."

ME: "The emphasis on youth is admirable, but of the back-five that started the season, four are rookies in league terms. Are you sure you've got the correct balance between experience and inexperience in the defensive positions?"

HIM: "We are a team that will always create chances."

ME: "I agree - and eight goals so far is testimony to that. But good teams are built on a solid base. If being more miserly means being less entertaining, so be it."

HIM: "We just have to get on with it because there's no money to strengthen the squad."

ME: "Of course, we all understand this, and I really respect the fact that you've stayed at a club with no money for so long."

HIM: "It will hurt us going to Notts County without Chalk and Ferguson, and Brian Carey. With the size of the squad, the last thing we want is injuries and suspensions."

ME: "Are you worried by the fact that the three players sent off in recent matches - Carey, Chalk and Ferguson - are all senior players? I think I would be."