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“He’s probably been my favourite manager since I’ve been supporting Cambridge.” (Q&A)

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Ahead of tomorrow night’s match versus Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium in League One, which will be refereed by David Rock, we have done a Q&A with one of their supporters. Thank you to James for answering the questions!

NEW QUIZ: How much can you remember from last season’s match versus Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium? Have a go at the quiz at the bottom of the page or simply CLICK HERE (opens in a new window)!

You can discuss what has been said in this article here, and get involved with our pre-match discussion!

How long have you supported Cambridge United?

Nearly 20 years now!

What are your hopes and expectations for the 2023/24 season?

My expectations have rapidly started to diverge from my hopes over the last few weeks. At the start of the season, I think most Cambridge fans were hoping to consolidate our position in League 1, much like Lincoln have actually, and drift into the warm embrace of a mid-table finish. My expectations are now slightly more pessimistic, although I think we will stay up.

What do you think of your manager?

He’s probably been my favourite manager since I’ve been supporting Cambridge; local, loves the club, speaks eloquently and is honest. Getting promoted also helps. Things have gone a little bit sour in the last few weeks though, which tends to happen when you lose to your biggest rivals 5-0! I still think he’s a fundamentally good manager and this is a tough spell but who knows?

Style of play and tactics – direct/passing/hybrid?

In terms of style of play, I don’t really know to be honest. If you’d asked at the start of the season I’d have said that we are most comfortable without the ball and look to counterattack on teams. It feels like we’ve lost our way on that recently, partly due to our lack of attacking penetration when teams do let us have the ball and partly due to our downturn in form/confidence. If I had to call it any sort of style it’d be an “aimless passing” style, so look forward to our centre-backs passing it around a bit before we lose the ball in midfield somewhere. That’s probably very unfair but did I mention that we lost 5-0 to Peterborough and everyone’s annoyed?

One(s) to watch now and in the future?

I’d love to say Liam Bennett, our right back. Despite having a bit of a tough time of late (read: hideously bad back passes) he’s a really exciting player to watch on his day and offers the team some fizz going forward.

In future, we seem to have a very strong crop of youngsters coming through but I’d probably say Glenn McConnell. He was one of the stand-out players as our U18s got to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals and is just starting to appear in a few match-day squads. He wears his socks low and has a fantastic eye for a pass so what’s not to like?

Random fact about your Club?

Before Derby selfishly ruined it with their hilariously bad Premier League season I think we held the record for longest winless streak in the Second Division. Not sure how many it was but it was lots.

Which were your favourite and least favourite matches involving Cambridge United?

Recency bias I know, but my favourite was beating Newcastle in the FA Cup in 2021, everything about that day was fantastic, including the friendliness of the Newcastle fans in the (many) pubs we were in after the game.

On the recency bias subject, least favourite is the 5-0 thrashing at Posh a couple of weeks ago, but honourable mentions to the several horrendous losses (often by similar margins) to giants of English football like Hayes & Yeading, Histon, and Alfreton in our conference days.

Which sides do you think will finish in the top six and which will finish in the bottom four?

Top 6: Portsmouth, Peterborough, Blackpool, Oxford, Bolton and Derby.

I can’t bring myself to put Steve Evans’ Stevenage in there but they might be a dark horse.

Bottom 4: Reading, Fleetwood, Carlisle and Cheltenham.

Really think Reading might be in trouble with their ongoing issues off-field, despite their squad.

What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?

I kind of see you as the blueprint for where we should be really. We are both similar-sized clubs historically but since we were together in non-league you’ve really established yourselves in league 1, get backed by some fantastic crowds and have been troubling the play-offs a couple of times. That’s where we should be.

What is your prediction for this match?

1-1. Some sort of a response after the defeat on Saturday but we aren’t quite good enough to put teams away, particularly pretty good ones like Lincoln.

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