During The Imps first season back in the Football League, they only managed to take one point from today’s opponents Notts County. The Imps, backed by a huge following, lost 4-1 at Meadow Lane and drew 2-2 at Sincil Bank.
Ahead of today’s game against Notts County, we spoke to James. Thank you to Luke for sorting this Q&A and to James for answering the questions!
How long have you supported Notts County?
Where did you finish last season?
What do you think of your Manager?
Nolan came in and instantly ended a club record 10 game losing streak with a 0-0 draw v Mansfield. He then helped keep us up before leading us to the playoffs last season, with us looking good for automatic promotion for a good chunk of it. He will be as disappointed as anyone with our start this year. He is still learning his trade and doesn’t get everything right (who does?), but is passionate and has previously been able to get the best out of his players. He deserves time to sort this season out.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
Play-offs as a minimum.
One(s) to watch?
Enzio Boldewijn, a summer signing from Crawley. A right winger who has already scored one fantastic goal and contributed a handful of assists.
Who do you think will finish in the top 7?
Notts County, Lincoln City, Mansfield Town, Exeter City, Colchester United, Milton Keynes Dons, and Forest Green Rovers as dark horses.
Who do you think will finish in the bottom 2?
Morecambe and Macclesfield Town.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
Good club, an excellent squad for this level, talented young management team, will be surprised if you aren’t there or thereabouts come May. What Lincoln has done in recent years in increasing the fanbase is fantastic, impossible not to be impressed.
What do you think the score will be?
What will your likely default formation and style of play be for this season?
Probably 4-4-2. Supposed to be a ‘passing’ style as opposed to last year’s more ‘direct’ approach, but hasn’t really worked yet.
Do you feel as though that, as you’ve tried to change your style of play, you’ve lost that bit of steel in the side that served you well last season?
Possibly, although we lost a large amount of steel as soon as Forest recalled Ryan Yates in January. He was a big part of our success, and we never really replaced his ability to break up the opposition play. Still haven’t, in fact.
Random fact about your Club?
Serial killer GP Harold Shipman was a fan and attended games as a child with his father.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
Bostwick. We are seriously missing some steel in midfield.
Given the financial problems that have beset the club in recent years such as the Munto fiasco and the management of the club under Ray Trew, is there any concern amongst fans over the recent spending spree?
Not really. Alan Hardy is a proven successful businessman who has made great strides off the field and helped achieve our highest average gate in years last season, and we recently sold a 17-year-old to Wolves for a fee rumoured to cover the summer outlay.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Notts County supporter?
Proudest, probably seeing us promoted twice at Wembley in the playoffs, including to the top flight in 1991, and winning the (now) League Two title in 1997/98, becoming the earliest team at the time (I think) to win promotion. We were up in March!
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
There isn’t really anyone.
Kevin Nolan’s record since the turn of the year has been pretty poor (is that actually the case?). Why was/has there been such a drop off from the beginning of last season?
See above re Ryan Yates. Also, some key players who performed superbly well last season defensively (Dan Jones, Shaun Brisley, Matt Tootle, Elliott Hewitt) haven’t really got going yet or been poor. Also, the ‘new style’ means we are not clearing our lines as quickly, which has lead to us conceding a couple of bad goals.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
Yes, and they don’t have much of a role at the moment I don’t think. I could be wrong about this, but you just don’t hear much from them at present.
Which was your favourite match involving Notts County?
Notts 3-0 Spurs in the League Cup when they fielded Klinsmann and the rest of Ardiles’ galacticos. Notts 5-0 Bradford, the first game of the ‘Munto’ season when Lee Hughes bagged a hat-trick as Sven watched on. We all thought we were on our way to the big time! Oh, and Lincoln 3-5 Notts in 1998, a crazy game in front of a huge away following on our way to the title.
Which was your least favourite match involving Notts County?
Mansfield 5-0 Notts a couple of years back was a low.
You were most pundits favourites to win the league, do you feel given your start you will do so?
It’s too early to say, I still think we will have a good season if we can sort out a couple of issues, namely a lack of confidence in defence and solidity in midfield. Our attacking signings are looking good, and I’d prefer to have to sort out trying to stop goals rather than score them. We face some stiff competition though for the top spot.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) August 25, 2018