Date: 2nd October 2018 at 6:45am
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The Imps last met Tranmere Rovers in the Conference on Saturday 17th December 2016. City won 2-1 that night. Nathan Arnold put The Imps ahead in the 3rd minute before former Lincoln City player Jeff Hughes scored from the penalty spot in the 29th minute to make it 1-1. Adam Marriott scored a truly fantastic goal in the 82nd minute, in front of a 6,335 crowd at Sincil Bank.

The two sides last met at Prenton Park on Saturday 10th September 2016, when The Imps ended Tranmere’s 100% winning record at Prenton Park with a 1-0 victory. Macauley Bonne the goalscorer on this occasion, in front of 5,274.

Anyway, onto the important bit! Thank you to Tranmere Rovers supporter Nick for answering our questions!

How long have you supported Tranmere Rovers?

The family next door dragged me to Tranmere when I was about 5! Only took me 25 years later to see us win something!!! In all seriousness, it was a no-brainer to support Tranmere despite family from the other side of Merseyside trying to tempt me with trips to the dark side.

Where did you finish last season?


OK, that’s a slight exaggeration but as you well know that League below Is hell on earth & to escape it meant everything to the fans & the club. I missed a friend’s wedding for the day and even the wife reluctantly agreed I needed to go – early on that season there was a growing concern that we would rot away in this League as we suffered painfully from a playoff defeat hangover however somehow managed to find ourselves at Wembley again. Typical Tranmere were the shouts after 48 seconds as we were reduced to 10 men but somehow, we went on to win the game and that was simply because the manager, fans, players, the club wanted it more!!

What do you think of your Manager?

Have you heard the man speak? Honestly to everyone single out there, go find yourself someone who talks about you the way Micky Mellon talks about Tranmere Rovers.

Is he perfect? Of course not, but he’s the best manager we have had in a long time and understands the club and what it means more than anyone since Johnny King.

What are your hopes and expectations for this season?

We don’t have a magic money tree. Yes, we are a decent sized club but we have spent 3 years in that League living on scraps. We’ve started the season well and I think we’ve demonstrated that we can live with some decent sides at this level. Realistically for the rest of the season, I’d be delighted if we can maintain midtable mediocrity with a view to building on it in future seasons.

One(s) to watch?

Norwood. The lad gets better and better every season and whilst he might not be able to continue his goal every game he will always make sure the defence are tested whoever they are.

Ollie Banks, honestly Oldham what were you thinking letting this lad go? He’s like a League 2 version of Pirlo just strolls around the park pinging passes and balls for days. If you don’t tie someone to him he can dictate a game for us.

Who do you think will finish in the top 7?

Lincoln City, Milton Keynes Dons, Exeter City, Oldham Athletic, Colchester United, Stevenage and Bury. We could sneak in but I’ve learnt to be pessimistic when it comes to football rather than optimistic.

Who do you think will finish in the bottom 2?

Macclesfield, to be honest, I’d be surprised if they got more than 20 points this season.

Grimsby. OK, I’m just playing to the audience but they’re struggling and don’t seem to have too much to turn it around.

What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?

I went to Lincoln Uni so I have a bit of affinity for the club and did catch a couple of games back in the day. Funnily enough, it was slightly easier to get tickets for Lincoln back then!

In all seriousness, I always thought Lincoln had a great opportunity given the fact there is literally nothing of any note for like 40 miles either side (Sorry, not sorry Scunthorpe) and in Cowleys you have an amazing management team. If you keep them & your crowds you have a chance to go places.

What do you think the score will be?

You guys seem to be on a roll and so I’d bite your arm off for a draw. That being said you lot seem to be capable of getting the job done so I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up 1-2.

What will your likely default formation and style of play be for this season?

4-4-2 is the default formation and if I am honest you’ll see a variance of direct if Stockton plays vs passing if he doesn’t.

Random fact about your Club?

We put a beer tent in our carpark and a club revenue spiked – coincidence? I think not.

Typical fact is something to do with our name being the only Norse name in the Football League. Not sure if this is still true.

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

John Akinde – I haven’t seen him in person but he looks class. Basically, a big powerful striker which is what we had to let go in Andy Cook and is the missing link in our strike force.

What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Tranmere Rovers Supporter?

Let’s getting embarrassing out the way first and foremost, John Barnes & Micky Adams tenures were painful.

Or back to back relegations.

Oh no, being put on eBay was probably our lowest moment.

Proudest – don’t get me wrong we’ve had some great Cup runs including smashing Everton 3 nil in their own backyard but that was a lifetime ago.

Honestly, the proudest moment was when that final whistle blew at Wembley and I looked around at thousands & thousands of Tranmere fans who I’ve seen up and down the country week in week out celebrating a victory which we haven’t seen at this club since the early 90’s.

A slightly subtler proud moment was just seeing week in week out decent crowds in the Conference. If ever there was a time for the fans to slip away it would have been then but the core stood strong.

Who would you say is your most underrated player?

I’d probably say currently the most underrated player is Bakayogo. He’s come back at the club and slotted in seamless. Mr consistent, who is solid at the back and offers us something going forward.

Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?

We have a couple of factions at Tranmere the TRUST have set up this class tent in the carpark which if you get a chance on Tuesday night make sure you pop into rather than a Wetherspoon. It’s a homage to fan culture and the beers on tap definitely made some painful days in the Conference easier.

Which was your favourite match involving Tranmere Rovers?

I keep banging on about it but seeing us win something for the first time in my lifetime was by far the best match involving Tranmere and that says something considering I’ve watched us smash Everton, come back from 3 goals down to win against Southampton in the Cup. Seen us play in a major Cup Final in 2000 etc, but none of them compares to knowing we’ve been promoted and the club has a chance to progress again.

Which was your least favourite match involving Tranmere Rovers?

April 2016 our iconic manager Johnny King had just passed away and it was our first game at home since his passing. Just a bit of context but Johnny king was everything to us, took us from an obscure club on the cusp of falling out the League and to pieces into a force in what is known as the Championship today. He built a whole identity & ethos around the club and it’s the reason why he is statue is outside the club today. His passing was gutting for the club and we all turned up expecting a reaction on the pitch, we lost 2-1 to Welling that day and I genuinely have not seen anger towards our own team like that before.

Do you get fed up of people calling you scousers?

Nah, just banter isn’t it? Honestly, though, there are much better things you can do than call us scousers. We love winding our cousins across the water up and I’m the first to put the boot in but also fairly quick to tell everyone what a class city it is.

How do you feel your team are doing settling back into EFL football again? What do you put your rapid demise down to?

That’s the thing it wasn’t rapid. It was 15+ years of neglect from a Chairman who had fallen out of love with the club and allowed us to stagnate by the time the new Chairman walked in the writing was on the wall.

The Palios don’t have deep pockets but they understand the passion for this club and are driving us forward with all sorts of initiatives to help progress the clubs. Have every confidence in them progressing the club.

Does James Norwood still miss, on average, 3 one-on-ones a game?

Nope, he scores 2.5 goals for every one on one, however, I’ve got a sneaky feeling he will be scoring tonight.

Posted by Vital Lincoln City on Tuesday, 2 October 2018

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