The last time The Imps played today’s opponents Tranmere Rovers at Sincil Bank was on 22nd April 2019 in front of a crowd of 9,658. This match finished 0-0, so there isn’t really much to say about it!
Earlier on in that season, we lost the away match at Prenton Park 1-0, in front of a crowd of 5,467 with James Norwood scoring the only goal of the match in the 61st minute, before getting sent off for a second bookable offence in the third minute of stoppage time. It was a really frustrating night, with The Imps playing quite well, but failing to take any chances.
Time for the Q&AS. Thank you to Tranmere Rovers supporters Stephen and Matt for answering our questions! To get to the second set of answers, simply click “click here for the second set of answers!” at the bottom right of the page, or click the name above!
First up, the answers provided by Stephen:
How long have you supported Tranmere Rovers?
Thirty-five years. My first match was in February 1984, so I consider myself fortunate to have seen the best years in our history, rising from the bottom of the old Fourth Division to the verge of the Premier League. Unfortunately, I don’t think that success could be repeated now given how the game has changed financially.
Where did you finish last season?
Sixth, winning promotion from League Two via the play-offs.
What do you think of your Manager?
He is one of the best managers in our history, probably second only to John King. He galvanised the club when we were in the National League following years of decline and probably saved us from the same fate as clubs like Wrexham and Stockport County when he took us up in 2018. We were operating on a relatively modest budget last season, so to win back-to-back promotions was an incredible achievement. From the outside, it might appear that he is struggling this season, but in reality, avoiding relegation would probably be a greater achievement than the promotions given the financial constraints we are operating under at the moment.
What are your hopes and expectations for the 2019/20 season?
That is simple. Survival. The club has come a long way in a very short period of time, which means we are up against it financially this season. However, we have a hugely capable and respected Chairman in Mark Palios and have recently received major foreign investment, so the future is bright if we do stay up.
One(s) to watch?
You will probably know Morgan Ferrier from your time in the National League. He missed the first few months of the season through injury, but has been impressive since coming back into the side. We have got genuine pace in the attacking areas with Ferrier and the two youngsters we signed from Aston Villa in the summer, Corey Blackett-Taylor and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy. Those two are young and inconsistent but can win a game on their day. Another youngster, Kane Wilson, has been very impressive at right and left wing-back. We can cause teams problems going forward but we have been suspect defensively this season, particularly from set plays, which is a bit of a worry ahead of Saturday’s game.
Which teams you think will finish in the top six?
Ipswich Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Peterborough United, Coventry City, Oxford United and Portsmouth.
Which teams do you think will finish in the bottom three?
The current bottom three (he says hopefully!). I can’t see Bolton Wanderers escaping, despite the help they keep receiving from the EFL, and Southend United look doomed with their appalling defensive record. Hopefully, Milton Keynes Dons won’t do too much good transfer business in January.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
A club very similar to ourselves in recent years. Well managed and a club that has a real connection with the local community. However, it will be interesting to see how you cope without Cowley in the long term.
What do you think the score will be?
Will The Imps win, lose or draw against Tranmere Rovers?
Random fact about your Club?
We are the only club in the world with a 100% per cent record at Arsenal’s former Highbury Stadium. We have only played there once, a 1-0 victory in a League Cup tie in October 1973. Our current Chairman was marking Alan Ball in the centre of midfield that night.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
One of your experienced central defenders, possibly Jason Shackell. We have got promising young players at centre back in Manny Monthe and Sid Nelson, but we lack leadership back there.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Tranmere Rovers Supporter?
The most ecstatic moment was regaining our League status at Wembley in May 2018. The joy and sheer relief of that day eclipsed winning promotion to the second tier, or reaching the League Cup final.
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
Kieron Morris. He divided opinion when he arrived last season, but he has become a hugely influential player for us. He is very good technically and has a number of assists this season. In the last few weeks has also started to add goals to his game.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
Yes, we do. They play a major role with a lot of off-the-pitch initiatives, such as running the marquee outside the ground which I am sure some of you have visited. They are also represented on the board of directors.
Which was your favourite match involving Tranmere Rovers?
The Boreham Wood game I referred to above, but there were some incredible matches in the nineties and noughties when we were in what is now The Championship. For example, stuffing Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park, coming from three-nil down at half time against Southampton to beat them 4-3, and reaching the League Cup final in 2000 by beating our nemesis Bolton Wanderers over two legs.
Which was your least favourite match involving Tranmere Rovers?
There had been a few grim moments in the last decade, but one game under Gary Brabin is often mentioned by our supporters. A few days after the death of the great Johnny King we lost at home to already-relegated Welling, ending our play-off hopes that season. It was an abject performance, typical of a few under Brabin, and was a terrible send-off for Kingy.
Do you have a Former Players Association at Tranmere Rovers?
Yes, we do. I believe it is run by our former keeper Eric Nixon.
What’s the best thing about Birkenhead?
There is a song called ‘Birkenhead is Wonderful’ which answers this question! It might get an airing at Sincil Bank.
More seriously, it is having a local club that is at the heart of a working-class community. Very different to the two Hollywood clubs over the river.
Are you sick of us, yet?
Not quite! The Lincoln fixtures are actually some of the first I look for at the start of the season, as it is interesting to gauge the progress of the two clubs, as we came through the divisions together.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) December 14, 2019