Date: 23rd October 2018 at 9:03am
Written by:

During their first season back in the Football League, The Imps picked up all six points against Carlisle United, with a 4-1 win at home on Saturday 26th August in front of a crowd of 8,345 and a 1-0 win away on Monday 2nd April in front of 5,068.

The Imps goalscorers in the 4-1 win were Woodyard (31′ & 63′), Rhead (67′) and Knott (87′), with Lambe scoring for Carlisle United (75′). In the away game, Green was the goalscorer for The Imps (43′).

Anyway, thank you to Dave and Admins for answering our questions. Admins answers are on Page Two, which can be found HERE!

First up, the answers provided by Dave:

How long have you supported Carlisle United?

20 years after being gripped by a 1-1 against Walsall at the age of 5.

Where did you finish last season?

10th – we drew way too many games at the end of last season after a good run and the playoffs slipped away.

What do you think of your Manager?

John Sheridan has only been here a few months and quickly won the backing of our fans who were on the brink of a breakdown following strong rumours that Russell Slade was about to get the job. I like the transparency and honesty we’ve seen from him so far and think he will do everything he can to try and make this a successful season. He doesn’t seem too worried about the media or the fans and would rather focus on winning the next game of football. If this season ends up a failure for us, only a handful of fans will lay the blame with Sheridan as we all know the club has given him a small budget to play with.

What are your hopes and expectations for this season?

My hope at the start of the season were that we might be able to hover close to the playoffs in a fairly weak League Two but we don’t have much strength in depth. Injuries to key players have forced inexperienced, young players into regular appearances already this season and as much as it’s great to see the youngsters getting game time, you have to worry about the points that will be dropped in the time it takes to work out which ones are up for the challenge.

One(s) to watch?

Nadeson up front seems to get in the right place at the right time and will probably be our greatest threat in front of goal but Anthony Gerrard in defence may be our key player. If we get anything in this game, it will likely be as a result of him keeping the back line motivated and in check as our defence is very vulnerable right now.

Who do you think will finish in the top 7?

I think the current top 3 – Lincoln, Exeter and MK – could still be there at the end of the season. I’m hoping Bury are up there too as I’ve got money on them and maybe Crawley, Forest Green and Mansfield to take the other playoff spots.

Who do you think will finish in the bottom 2?

Macclesfield (even though we just lost to them) and Cheltenham.

What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?

My memories of watching us play Lincoln as a kid are terrible. I always think of Lincoln as being a tall, physical side – frustrating to play against – but I saw a very different side last season. I was out of the country and watched the home and away games online. Although I don’t remember them in great detail, I think our downfall was that we were susceptible to switching off, not closing down and straying from marking around the box while Lincoln stayed alert and kept looking to keep an attack going. We got hammered at your place and then losing at home in April may well have been the final nail in the playoff coffin for us. I think we’ve conceded heavily against Lincoln quite a few times over the years and I don’t remember us ever giving you a hammering back so, yeah, all-in-all Lincoln is not a fixture I usually look forward to!

What do you think the score will be?

1-1. It’s traditional for Carlisle to lose against a team on a terrible streak – in this case, Macclesfield – and then go on to get something from a team in form the very next game.

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

4-4-2 and 4-3-3 but could change drastically if we get any more injuries! We are trying to move forward quickly with possession and passing but there is a tendency to go direct quite quickly if we’re struggling to get through the midfield.

Random fact about your Club?

Brunton Park has the largest capacity of any football stadium with terraced stands in the country (I think).

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

Akinde – we’re in desperate need of someone else to score goals and I could see him bagging over 20 this season.

What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Carlisle United Supporter?

Proudest: Winning the Conference play-off final in 2005 after just one season out of the Football League. I didn’t realise how important it was at the time but we would have lost many of the players who went on to win League Two the next season and could have been struggling in the non-league today if we lost that game. I’m sure many Carlisle fans would say the Jimmy Glass game was more important – and that was probably the game I knew I was a fan for life – but I was only 6 so the game and emotions around it are a blur.

Most Embarrassing: From a purely ‘this looks very tinpot’ perspective, the mystery billionaire saga that dragged on for a few years recently. The club claimed they were in talks with a very wealthy foreign businessman and many saw it as an excuse by them to divert attention from a legitimate offer to take over running of the club from local figures. To cut a long story short, it was obviously not going anywhere but I think it took the club 2 years to say they weren’t accepting the takeover and it was 3 years before they actually named the guy. He’s now President of a small team in Malta who were relegated after his first season.

Who would you say is your most underrated player?

Kelvin Etuhu often does more than you first think and Jason Kennedy used to always come up with some quality but he’s sadly been out injured for a long time.

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

The less said on this one the better. The Trust has a significant stake in the club and could be a huge force for good to ensure the club are doing everything they can to get more fans through the gate. Instead, the general attitude seems to be that they are happy to be along for the ride and recent showings at fans’ forums have not inspired much hope that they are representing the full concerns of our supporters as they went along with answers given by the other directors and chairman, often dismissing issues that fans brought up. It’s a shame as I look around the ground and see an aging crowd – you have to wonder where the next generation of supporters will come from. People of all ages need some kind of incentive to part with the cash but I think my generation, in particular, has looked at rent and living costs rising in a decade of austerity and decided not going to watch us lose against Morecambe in the pouring rain is a sacrifice they are willing to make.

Which was your favourite match involving Carlisle United?

There’s plenty but I’ll go with beating Leeds 3-1 at home. They were on an unbeaten run and giving it large in the way Leeds fans do (smashing up local establishments) before the game so to watch us beat them convincingly in front of a packed stadium was a great feeling.

Which was your least favourite match involving Carlisle United?

We were relegated from League One in 2014 and it was a bleak time. Former assistant Graham Kavanagh was an easy and cheap option as manager and things went very wrong, very quickly. We lost heavily to Notts County, Preston and Peterborough in the last few months of the season and I remember going down to Wolves on the last day of the season with basically no realistic hope of staying up. We were beaten 3-0 and didn’t really put up a fight. The Wolves fans celebrated their promotion and good times ahead while I was left with a ‘here we go again’ feeling after years in a higher tier. There was something about the end of that season I found completely depressing, more so than when we were relegated to the conference a decade earlier.

What’s better for a football fan – dull but sound management, or a wild ride like with Michael Knighton, or even Brooks Mileson if you consider what might have been?

Whatever is best for the players on the pitch is best for the fans, in my opinion. I’ve got a great deal of respect for managers who clearly go the extra mile on scouting and research so I probably prefer what you describe as dull management! That said, I think some Carlisle fans do look back on the Michael Knighton with a guilty fondness – at least there was entertainment and a buzz around the club which has been gone for some time now. We nearly had a butterfly house next door to our stadium. Instead, the legacy that is left is a stand which doesn’t line up with the pitch as I’m sure your away supporters are aware of!

There seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction with the ownership of the club and perceived lack of commitment and investment, particularly since the announcement of the new stadium at Workington. What exactly are they failing to do, and what are the fans expecting?

When a club is openly admitting that budgets are being slashed it is hardly cause for a rush of season ticket sales so we are witnessing a fan base which was already losing interest after some fairly dire performances turning into a very apathetic group. I would say the crowds currently are a testament to the loyalty football supporters have for their club as many people are going to show their support knowing there’s a good chance they’re not really going to enjoy the football on offer. I think the fans would appreciate some kind of effort – just something, anything! – that shows the club are investing in making the match day better value for money. One of the bars in the ground has one of those old 32-inch TVs that probably cost a small fortune in 2001 stuck up in a corner that nobody can see as the screen is fuzzy and too far away. This is just one example of a situation where you think, “Make a small investment and watch people appreciate it.” Put a 50 inch TV in that bar and a pair of speakers and I can guarantee there’ll be more than the 4 of us there was in there before the game last week…

John Sheridan was an interesting appointment, given his recent track record on and off the field. Why did the board feel the need to have another manager with a poor record – David Holdsworth – above him?

There have been plenty of rumours about the appointment of David Holdsworth as Director of Football. The club has been receiving some financial support from Edinburgh Woollen Mill which is owned by a local businessman and the most common theory between supporters is that some of that money is going to directly to paying his salary. Why? Well, the next part of the rumour is that Woollen Mill owner Philip Day has the club in his sights for a takeover some time soon and doesn’t trust the current board with having the final say on some of the top level stuff so wants to keep the club in as a good a shape as possible in the meantime with his own man on the ground. In any case, it’s a bit odd and nobody is too sure why the club has taken on an extra head to pay at a time when they are vocal about spending less.

Has the Holdsworth, 40 player a season revolving transfer door been in full operation yet?

We’ve seen and heard from him only a couple of times since his arrival. He’s a confident bloke and seems to think a lot of himself but I’m not sure we’ve seen any of his work come to fruition yet. Our squad is small, injury prone and padded out with loans so I’m hoping by January he’s worked with the manager to pinpoint a couple of additions who can take us from mid-table to a chance of the playoffs. Withholding judgement until then!

Posted by Vital Lincoln City on Tuesday, 23 October 2018

2 Replies to ““This looks very tinpot.””

  • Good article this. Nice to hear more detailed responses from fans, as twitter can be very restrictive.

    As a CUFC fan, I would like to weigh in on the Billionaire saga. That was very tinpot, and there was clearly a NDA in place, which the club coudldn’t afford to break. As for the local interest, that guy flattered to deceive. He claimed he had £1.2m secured from local businessmen, but when the club did their due diligence, they discovered that three members of the consortium who were supposed to be signed up to invest £500k, had only agreed to invest £100k. So the £1.2m was reduced to £800k.

    He said he would take the club to court, but nothing has come of it. Classic opportunist.

  • Interesting comment, Richard. I wonder if you have a source other than Jenkins and co for that ‘info’?

    Also, why not get on the CUFC forum and challenge AL, if you are so sure of your claims? Laffy is still a regular poster, and has never shied away from his takeover attempt.

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