The Imps last faced tomorrow’s opponents Burton Albion on Saturday 7th December in front of a 3,782 crowd at the Pirelli Stadium, with City backed by 1,333. The man in the middle that day was one of our favourites, Ben Toner. Tomorrow afternoon the referee is Scott Oldham.
Anyway, The Imps won 2-0 that day, thanks to an early goal and a late goal. Harry Anderson timed his run to perfection in the 2nd minute of the match to get on the end of a corner taken by Jorge Grant and put The Imps ahead. Tyler Walker made it 2-0 to City in the third minute of stoppage time in the second half, when he got on the end of a cross from Harry Anderson. The hosts played really well that day, but just couldn’t find the back of the net and to be fair, a draw would have been a fair result.
Time for the Q&A! Thank you to Burton Albion supporter Ian for answering our questions!
How long have you supported Burton Albion?
I have been supporting the club since around 1980 when my Grandad first starting taking me games and bought me my first season ticket. Seen the rise from the old Northern Premier League of the 1980s to the highs of the Championship with the Brewers.
Where did you finish last season?
Last year Albion finished 9th in League One. After a slow start to the season following relegation from the Championship in the last five minutes of the campaign Albion adjusted to League One and with a good run of form after Christmas, following the memorable run to the Carabao Cup semi-finals, briefly flirted with the play-offs but ultimately missed out.
What do you think of your Manager?
I am more than happy with Nigel Clough at the helm of the club. Nobody gave Albion much of a chance of surviving in the Championship but against the odds, Nigel masterminded survival before Albion were only relegated on the final day in 2018 on a day when they were safe with five minutes to play with only results elsewhere sending us down. Albion constantly have to fight against the odds against much bigger clubs in terms of budget and infrastructure but Nigel always produces some quality signings and has got Albion playing some good passing football. Nigel is a good man-manager and knows how to get the best out of his players.
What were your hopes and expectations for the 2019/20 season?
My hopes for this season were to see further improvement with a challenge for the play-offs at the end of the season. I am very much a realist and I know that when you look at the size of some of the clubs in League One than for a club the size of Burton to be competing alongside clubs such as Sunderland, Coventry, Portsmouth, Ipswich etc it’s a big challenge to be looking at promotion but we have done it before and there is no reason why we can’t challenge again.
One(s) to watch?
Jamie Murphy has been a quality addition in the January transfer window on loan from Glasgow Rangers. A player is well known to Nigel Clough from his time at Sheffield United and he has five goals in eight games having not played for eighteen months due to injury. Stephen Quinn is the man that makes the midfield tick, usually from a deep censored. word position whilst Ryan Edwards has the legs and energy to get in the box and get on the end of things. Lucas Akins is the epitome of versatility having played in every outfield position in his time at the club and will always give his all for the cause.
Which teams you think will finish in the top six?
I think Rotherham and Coventry will probably be the top two. Portsmouth, Sunderland, Oxford and Peterborough would be my play-off tips.
Which teams do you think will finish in the bottom three?
The bottom two, Bolton and Southend, are already gone, in my opinion, and I think that Tranmere are going to find it hard to get out of trouble as well. They have games in hand but that doesn’t always mean much down at the bottom end of the table.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
I think in recent years they have made excellent progress as a club. The appointment of the Cowley brothers was clearly a key factor and gave them a great boost. If I am honest I was really surprised that it took Lincoln so long to get back into the League after they were relegated. We at Burton know what a bit of momentum can do for a club and Lincoln look to be making solid progress right now and establishing themselves back in League One could be a good platform for future success.
What do you think the score will be?
Albion have been pretty good on the road this season where we can counter-attack and get at teams who come out to play. I think it will be a tight game. Nigel won’t have forgotten the game at the Pirelli before Christmas and will want to put that right so I am going to go for a 2-1 Burton win.
Will The Imps Win, Lose Or Draw Against Burton Albion?
Random fact about your Club?
Albion are the fourth team to represent the club in the Football League. Burton Swifts and Burton Wanderers were in the Football League at the end of the 19th century before merging to form Burton United. When they eventually dissolved it took until 1950 for Albion to be formed and begin the journey back to bringing League football back to the town.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
Only one you say? We know a lot about Jake Hesketh from his time at Burton last season, particularly when he scored the goal against Middlesbrough to take us to a League Cup semi-final against Manchester City but I am actually going to say that I have always had a bit of a sneaking admiration for Cian Bolger at the back. Albion don’t have problems scoring goals but have conceded a few too many ‘soft’ goals this season and someone like Bolger, in my opinion, would shore things up a bit.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Burton Albion Supporter?
The proudest moment would have to be in my role as Matchday Announcer getting to perform that role at Wembley in the League Two Play-Off Final. That and the celebrations after the 0-0 draw against Doncaster when Albion got promoted to the Championship. It was an awful match, but the result meant so much. Can’t really say as I have ever been embarrassed as a Burton fan to be honest.
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
I am going to say Oliver Sarkic. We picked Oli up from Leeds United last summer and he is technically a very good footballer. Has been on the books of Benfica and Anderlecht as a youngster. Is still settling into League football but has shown some real skill at times to create and score goals and links the play really well.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
Not really. I was involved in a supporters club many years ago but there is no Supporters Trust involved with the club at the present time.
Which was your favourite match involving Burton Albion?
I’ve mentioned the goalless draw with Doncaster already for the implications it had for us getting into the Championship and obviously the cup games against Manchester United and Manchester City have been memorable but probably my favourite match was the FA Cup Second Round game that preceded Manchester United in December 2005. Albion played Burscough with both sides knowing what victory would mean. Albion produced a scintillating performance to win 4-1 with two goals from one of my favourite Burton players, Keith Gilroy.
Which was your least favourite match involving Burton Albion?
It is ten years this week since Albion were 5-3 up at home to Cheltenham Town with five minutes to go and ended up losing 6-5. Still not sure to this day how we actually managed to lose that one.
Do you have a Former Players Association at Burton Albion?
No there isn’t one at Burton. The club have started to induct members to a Hall Of Fame at the end of season awards but there is no formal ex-players Association.
What’s the best thing about Burton?
The fact that we are the home of brewing means it has to be the beer!
Which player, in your opinion, is Burton’s ultimate cult hero?
That would have to be Darren Stride. Club record appearance maker and third on the all-time goalscorers list who is a local lad who came through the youth team to become a real leader of the team. Played in every position, including twice as a goalkeeper saving a penalty in one game and keeping a clean sheet for over three-quarters of the game on the other occasion and in his job as a builder also helped in the construction of the Pirelli Stadium!
Do you feel that you’re punching above your weight?
Most definitely. Burton only got into the League in 2009 with no previous pedigree as a Football League club. With one of the lowest average attendances in the division and against clubs with much bigger resources than ourselves Albion are most definitely punching above their weight at the moment and long may it continue!
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) March 6, 2020