Getting To Know You - Lincoln City
Thank You to Vital Lincoln regular poster gijsbert_bos for his insight into our FA Cup opponents Lincoln.
How long have you supported Lincoln?
Well, I'm 28 now and started going when I was at Primary School and the Football in the Community guys came round and gave out free tickets, so about 20 years now. I was brought up as a Man United fan by my Mum, who's got no connection whatsoever to Manchester. My Dad wasn't into football and it was a neighbour who used to take me and my brother regularly. My brothers both follow Man United so I get a lot of stick for how awful Lincoln are, but it's much more interesting supporting your local team.
What are your highest/lowest moments of supporting Lincoln?
Highest was probably one particular game - the 7-1 home victory over Rochdale a few years back when we were playing some beautiful, flowing, counter-attacking football. Every time we attacked, we scored - I couldn't quite believe what was happening.
Lowest has to be getting relegated on the last day of the season with a horrific, gutless performance against Aldershot at home. We had needed something like one point from the last 10 games, and we failed to get it. I was just numb.
How do you feel you have started the season?
It's a slight improvement on last year and we're on a 5-game unbeaten run at the moment, but still just above the relegation zone. We've lost to some poor sides and had one or two decent results. We've only been outplayed in one game so far really, but it's results that count and I would be happier if we were 5 or 6 places higher up in comfortable mid-table.
Your opinion on David Holdsworth and how club is run?
Holdsworth - I was firmly in the 'Holdsworth Out' camp at carious points last year and have been this year, albeit I'm not one to join in the chants at games calling for his head. He talks a brilliant game - I'd recommend listening to his hilarious post-match interview on Saturday - and uses words like 'texture' a lot. I think he's got a good eye for a player but tactically I'm not convinced he's got a clue.
In terms of the running of the club, that's a whole can of worms we've had EGMs, fans' protests and all sorts over the last couple of years. We're run by the Supporters Trust and some well-meaning but 'bumbling' local businessmen who aren't multi-millionaires but are fans of the club, along with the Lincs Co-op, so at least the ownership is quite broad. Financially we've not got much money but we are at least trying to run sustainably. Unfortunately that really puts us at a disadvantage against those with sugar-daddies. I'd rather that than live beyond our means though. Not ideal but it could be worse.
What are your expectations for this season?
I think mid-table would represent an improvement and would keep me happy. I think tying up some of our better players to contracts beyond this season and hanging on to our young prospects would be a key step too. Not very ambitious, but when we were in a relegation battle last year, you have to lower your sights somewhat!
Probably Jamie Taylor - a small, energetic, technically good striker who has seven goals this year. He makes a lot of them himself, chasing down defenders and mugging them, before finishing - his goal against Luton was awesome. I'd also say Nicky Nicolau and John Nutter are decent from set-pieces and Andrew Boyce is a threat in the air when he lumbers up for corners and free-kicks. Finally, Conner Robinson, a 17 year-old first year pro who is one for the future but could be a threat if he comes on later on.
Memories of a Walsall/Lincoln match?
The one that sticks in the mind is the televised game in 2007 where we won 2-1 to go top of League 2 before we subsequently ran out of steam and scraped into the playoffs, then getting thrashed by Bristol Rovers. This was the season of the Rochdale win mentioned above, when we played some lovely stuff under Schoey. I remember Spencer Weir-Daley scored two and Hector Sam scored for you. It's one of the rare times we've played well on TV.
Prediction for Saturdays game?
I would say Lincoln 1-3 Walsall. Really can't see us getting anything from the game but we beat 2nd-place Wrexham a few weeks back, which no-one expected. Perhaps if the pressure is off similarly on Saturday, the players will relax and we might get a draw.
Everyone at VitalWalsall wishes Lincoln the best of luck for the remainder of the season (after Saturday of course!)