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Hinchas y Jugadores - Racing de Santander with Jonathan Mullin (12th May, 2017)

Follow Jonathan Mullin on Twitter here.

There is a new Racing UK Supporters club! Follow them on Twitter here. On that note, follow the official club Twitter account here.

How long have you been a fan of Racing Santander and what made you support them in the first place?

I've followed Racing since I was young, the first game I went to was in 1993 so I'd have been 9 years old and ten years later, by chance, I found myself in Santander for a year as part of my degree so I think it was just meant to be.

Given the transfer windows and the squad that was assembled at the start of the season, is Racing Santander where you want it to be?

It is important that Racing get promoted this year, given all of the well documented financial and ownership problems the club has had over the last seven years or so it is nice to at least have some stability back but Racing is a club that belongs in Primera. It will be a long road back there but promotion this season would certainly be a start and after the disappointment of last year it certainly feels like promotion is essential this time round.

Of the signings made this season, which one worked out the best/had the most impact and why?

Dani Aquino has been a fantastic signing and acquiring Abdón Prats in the transfer window gave us that added threat that was missing. Captain Borja Granero and the influential César Díaz have missed much of the season through injury so it will be good to have them back in action for the run in and the play-offs.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Racing Santander this season? Any standout players?

Prats and Aquino in particular have been big signings and both have certainly delivered but another key player for Racing this season has been Samuel Llorca, who has formed an excellent partnership with Mikel Santamaria at center half. Racing have conceded just 19 goals in 34 games so far and this has been the foundation of their success this season, with Prats joining Aquino in attack hopefully the squad will have enough firepower now to secure promotion.

List some things you appreciate and some things you can’t stand about the club management. 

Managing Racing is a difficult task, especially given all of the off the field turmoil of recent years, but by and large I think Ángel Viadero has done a good job this season, with the team losing only 3 games it is hard to be too critical although it has not always been easy, especially over the winter when some of the performances were lackluster to say the least. Racing fans do not expect huge success but the pressure is certainly on to achieve promotion this season and Viadero has handled that as well as he possibly could have.

Are there any talented youngsters at the club that you expect to have a big future?

Racing have a good reputation for producing talent, unfortunately they are not always adequately compensated when this talent then moves on, but from this season's squad the one with real potential is Javi Cobo. If Racing can manage promotion then with a year in Segunda under his belt I would expect to see him at a Primera club within a few years. Hopefully Racing will be a Primera club once more by then!

Hopefully Racing can win their group to give the best possible chance of promotion but for that to happen we need Celta B to slip up in their remaining games.

If you could make one realistic signing for Racing Santander this summer who would it be?

If promotion is achieved then the squad will need plenty of additions to compete in Segunda next season. Adding another full back to the ranks will certainly be a priority and whilst it wouldn't be the most high profile of signings, somebody like ex-Athletic Bilbao full back Jon Aurtenetxe would fit the bill, especially as it looks like his current club, Mirandés, will be relegated.

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