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“He’s upped the standards and has his tendencies which are so far all positive.” (Q&A)

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Ahead of today’s match between Cheltenham Town and Lincoln City at Whaddon Road in League One, we have done a Q&A with one of their supporters, so thank you to Owen from The Robins Report for answering the questions! Today’s referee is Thomas Kirk and kick-off is at 15:00.

NEW QUIZ: How much can you remember about the last time The Imps played Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road? You can have a go at the quiz at the bottom of the page or CLICK HERE (opens in a new window)!

Get involved on the forum: Match Thread: Cheltenham Town v Lincoln City

How long have you supported Cheltenham Town?

I’ve been supporting Cheltenham Town since 2010, and a season ticket holder since 2011.

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

Hopes for the start of the season were to try and keep out of a relegation battle in order to secure a historical 4th successive season at this level. It’s never been done before in our club’s history so the hopes are still the same this close to the end of the season. We’ve done all we can to give ourselves a fighting chance of staying in the division and Saturday provides us with another chance!

How many points did you think you’d get this season after your first 10 games?

Points were obviously a thought, however the first target was simply a goal! And then take it from there. When the manager came in he targeted 15 wins which would take us to around 50 points. It’s unlikely to take that now but 50 points are always the target, but I always thought we’d get somewhere between 30-40.

What are your views on your manager?

Absolutely love him so far, unapologetically honest and he is absolutely loved by the fanbase for it. You know what you’re going to get with him and he’s been refreshing since the previous manager. He’s upped the standards and has his tendencies which are so far all positive. He knows who he can rely on and knows what type/age of player he wants his teams to be made up of.

What are your views on your January transfer business?

Desperate at times, a needs must approach on a shoestring budget. All loan players returned to parent clubs due to them being incredibly poor for the standards we’ve had previously. Some unexpected departures, but the manager was very clear he didn’t want players who didn’t want to be around. Matty Taylor was a great buy and so was Liam Kinsella on 2-year contracts.

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

Pretty direct, it’s a must-have approach due to the current situation. Darrell tried to implement a high-intensity system which involved us pressing high but fatigue has set in alongside the poor quality of the current crop of players so we’re a lot more direct than we used to be. We try and get down the wings where possible with wing-backs.

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

Matty Taylor since returning from injury has been superb. He’s been risked two weeks ahead of schedule but is a goal scorer which we desperately need. Liam Sercombe has hit 10 goals in the league and we’d be nowhere near the dotted line without him. Will Ferry is also a player who can be of importance in the game.

Jordan Thomas has been a promising impact sub since acquiring him from Bath City in January. He did have Championship interest prior to joining us, great to come on against tiring defences.

Random fact about your Club?

As of this season, we hold the record for most league games without scoring a goal.

Which were your favourite and least favourite matches involving Cheltenham Town?

My favourite game could be many but at the current moment, it might be the 2012 FA Cup replay against then-rivals Hereford United. Fog covered the pitch for the whole of the second half apart from the end we were shooting too and in the 114th minute, we scored a header. We earned a home tie against Everton which was a brilliant occasion.

My least favourite game was the 2-0 loss to Crewe in the 2012 play-off final. Miserable.

At the start of the season, which sides did you think would finish in the top six and which did you think would finish in the bottom four?

Top 6 can’t remember which order but I had – Pompey, Derby, Bolton, Charlton, Barnsley and Peterborough.

Bottom 4 I had Carlisle, Exeter, Cambridge and Reading

What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?

I remember them always being called a dark horse at the beginning of the season but couldn’t really work out why. Their team is very unassuming and doesn’t have many names of note which makes you think, oh we need to watch out for these. I respect that massively though and imagine it’s played to their advantage. Since the new manager has come in it’s been unreal what they’ve managed to achieve and it cannot be underestimated how well they’ve done to get themselves to their current position.

If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your team, who would it be and why?

Ben House is somebody I kept seeing in non-league popping up with goals for Eastleigh, he was prolific for them on a Football Manager save I had too so was impressed when I saw Lincoln pick him up in real life, he’s the type of signing I wish Cheltenham would take a risk on every now and then – we did a couple of seasons ago with Tom Bradbury a left-footed centre back from Halifax who has managed the step up but hasn’t been a starter.

Connor McGrandles is a player who I feel would suit a club like Cheltenham too, I’ve noticed he’s no longer really in favour at Lincoln and would hope Cheltenham could take a punt on him if a club like Cambridge were able to attract also.

What is your prediction for this match?

It’s going to be a tense one for the home faithful, as I imagine for the away team too. Our game last season was one of the most boring 0-0’s I’ve ever witnessed but with fatigue setting in and lots on the line I’m hoping we could have an entertaining match.

I have gone for a 1-1 draw which I’m not sure will be enough for either of us!

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What date did the two sides meet?

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