During their first season back in the Football League, The Imps picked up two points against today’s opponents Cambridge United. Both meetings finished 0-0. The home match was played on Saturday 14th October in front of a crowd of 8,803 and the match at The Abbey Stadium was played on Friday 9th February in front of 5,775.
They were both, in all honesty, matches to forget, so let’s move straight on to the Q&A!
Thank you to Cambridge United supporter Will for answering our questions!
How long have you supported Cambridge United?
Where did you finish last season?
What do you think of your manager?
Well it’s very early days but he’s already guided us to a win and they have been few and far between so far this season. He arrives with all the qualities the fans were hoping for; experience as a manager at this level and a “no-nonsense” reputation to hopefully get us winning more matches and climbing the table. He’s got great contacts in the game so hopefully will be able to use some of them to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
Fair to say these have evolved as the season has progressed; avoiding relegation is now the number one priority without question. It’d be great to string some wins together sooner rather than later so we could start to look up the table rather than down. A top half finish would be a great achievement after the opening half of the campaign but in reality, we would all rip your arm off if you offered us 22nd place now as the prospect of relegation back to the Conference is terrifying.
One(s) to watch?
George Maris and Jervani Brown, both able to unlock defences with great passes and get in good goalscoring positions too.
Who do you think will finish in the top 7?
Lincoln City, Milton Keynes Dons, Mansfield Town, Colchester United, Exeter City, Tranmere Rovers and Carlisle United.
Who do you think will finish in bottom 2?
Yeovil Town and Macclesfield Town.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
Lincoln are clear a club which has made a very astute management appointment and appear to be riding the crest of a wave; the money generated from the FA Cup exploits last season clearly being well invested in an already strong squad and the club going from strength to strength. I think they’ll win the title this season by some distance and will struggle to keep hold of their management team who will certainly be getting interest and offers from Championship level. When you’re winning matches each week and enjoying promotions and cup runs a club can get an aura of invincibility about it, it must have been an incredible 18-months or so to be a fan of the Club, but the real challenge will come when there is a bump in the road, a bad season or a bad run of results, because that will come. We had a similar experience having won promotion back to the Football League at Wembley, won the FA Trophy and had a fantastic FA Cup run where we made a lot of money (and memories!) but since then we have had three pretty stagnant, turgid years, mainly due to awful managers and poor investment in players. It should be a good game today though, hopefully, we can continue our revival and move up the table.
What do you think the score will be?
What will your likely default formation and style of play be for this season?
We are quite muddled in our formation and style. Hopefully, after a few tweaks to the squad, we can play a solid 4-4-2.
Random fact about your Club?
No other Club took more away fans to Highbury that we did for our FA Cup Quarter Final there in 1990 – the streets of London were Amber and Black that day.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
John Akinde – exactly the type of player we have missed this season.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Cambridge United supporter?
There have been many, many low points as a fan of the Club over the years, relegation from the Championship at Upton Park in 1993 or when our relegation from the Football League was confirmed after a 0-0 draw with Rochdale in 2005 but however low things get you should never feel embarrassed because that’s the nature of football – the most proud I have ever felt as a fan of this Club was at Rushden away in 2005, our last game in the Football League having been relegated and entered administration the day before, but we took over 2,000 fans there who didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes, in one glorious act of defiance at the situation we faced, and while it took a few years that loyalty and passion was rewarded in the end. In terms of our worst result though, the one that really makes you shudder and want to find a rock to hide under…it’s hands down the 5-0 FA Trophy defeat to Histon in 2006. They are a small village next to Cambridge, had John Beck and Steve Fallon taking them up the leagues, and didn’t just outclass us, they humiliated us.
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
Perhaps Jake Carroll at left back, he’s often considered to be the weak link but has been very consistent this season and certainly not the main culprit in terms of mistakes.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
We have Cambridge Fans United (CFU) they play an active role at the Club, the Fans Director leads a team of volunteers who have done fantastic work at the ground in the last few years, painting and improving it.
Which was your favourite match involving Cambridge United?
The 2-1 win against Gateshead at Wembley to secure our return to the Football League.
Which was your least favourite match involving Cambridge United?
As previously mentioned, the 5-0 defeat at Histon in the FA Trophy.
Do you have a Former Players Association at Cambridge United?
Yes. More information can be found here.
How integral is former Imps loanee George Maris to Cambridge?
He was a big player for us last season, but this season has been a struggle so far. He would certainly be a big loss to the team, but no team should rely on a single player.
Ade Azeez was linked with us some time ago? Is he any good?
No. He works hard and gets in good positions but just isn’t very good at scoring goals, which is really what you need from a striker.
What’s with all the Irish players at Cambridge?
Not a clue, often you get a preferred agent so perhaps ours is Irish!
How big a loss was Uche Ikpeazu in the summer?
Uche was an incredible player for this level and we have missed his presence on the pitch this season – he isn’t a player you can replace either as he’s one of a kind. That said, we played much of the tail end of last season without him and were in very good form, so not sure we can blame our poor campaign on the fact he left.
Would you have John Beck back?
He was 30 years ahead of the times with his methods and reaped the rewards; supporting the club as we stormed through the leagues, reaching FA Cup quarter-finals along the way, was just incredible to be part of. I don’t think it could happen again in the modern game, as you can’t keep a team together for that long before losing the better players and it’s just a different game nowadays. We did bring him back for a second spell as manager in 2001 and he kept us up in League One, but it all went very wrong the next season. He’s a United legend though and was recently voted into our ‘Hall of Fame’ and rightly so.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) December 29, 2018