The Imps take on Championship side Blackburn Rovers tonight at Ewood Park in the Second Round of the Carabao Cup. Both sides have got off to a very good start, with Rovers sitting 5th in the Sky Bet Championship with 9 points from 5 games, while The Imps top Sky Bet League Two with 13 points from 15.
The two sides last met in a competitive match on 27th November 1972 at Ewood Park in an FA Cup First Round replay. Rovers won the game 4-1.
Ahead of tonight’s match, we have done a Q&A with a Blackburn Rovers supporter. Thank you to Jim for taking the time to answer our questions!
How long have you supported Blackburn Rovers?
I’ve supported Rovers for 50-odd years.
Where did you finish last season?
We finished runners-up in League One and were promoted back after a single season.
What do you think of your Manager?
Tony Mowbray has surely converted anyone who had any doubts about him. And the many who had included me. He’s been a credit to himself, the club and helped, in the cliched but actually dead right in our circumstances “given us back our Rovers” after years of failure and division.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
To stay up was initially priority but given the impressive way we’ve started those expectations are already soaring. But my attitude is always let’s get to whatever the safety target is and then see.
One(s) to watch?
Bradley Dack’s performances are so sublime that one worries it can only be a matter of time before he attracts wealthier suitors. Joe Rothwell looks a splendid acquisition as does Kasey Palmer. Players like Elliott Bennett & Corey Evans who looked dispirited plodders in our relegation team have almost reinvented themselves as star midfielders. Charlie Mulgrew is classy and Raya is a fast-improving keeper. At the moment this is an easy team to like.
Who do you think will finish in the top 6?
A lot of money has been spent in our division and that will likely reflect in the final table. But I’ve genuinely no idea who will succeed and that makes it all the more fascinating.
Who do you think will finish in the bottom 3?
Again for similar reasons you just don’t know. As long as it’s not us I’m not bothered.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
I’ve only ever been on Sincil Bank once ironically watching our great rivals Burnley in the League Cup with my mate who was in the RAF nearby. We were big Lincoln fans that night and when you knocked them out of The FA Cup.
What do you think the score will be?
I think we’ll put out a strong side and win 3-1.
What will your likely default formation and style of play be for this season?
4-5-1 with Dack behind the centre-forward.
Random fact about your Club?
I think we are the only club to win a major trophy in all three centuries.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
I have to admit that although I used to report on lower league footy for a living I retired some time ago and don’t know the current squad. So I’ll say I’d love Scott Wharton to come back and do well here as his dad is a friend and he is a good lad.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Blackburn Rovers Supporter?
Proudest moment I’d have to say being at Doncaster when we clinched promotion last season with my wife, who I met following Rovers and our 2 daughters. Seeing them have something tangible to celebrate after crappy years was even better for me than the 95 Premier League title when I was single.
Must embarrassing – well another random fact is that we’ve never lost to a non-league club in the Cup in my lifetime so I’d have to say the lowest point was probably having 3 managers fail spectacularly in a single season 2012-13.
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
Most underrated by me was Elliott Bennett. Up to about Christmas last season I was mystified by his qualities as a bits & pieces winger who popped the odd nice goal in but he has been Reimagined as a non-stop midfielder with an incredible heart and engine. One of those players who took a while to grow on me but now the Heart and soul of the club. He’s also an outstanding human being from what I gather.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
We have a supporters trust but I’m not a member and their recent AGM report suggests they are taking a bit of a back seat while things are going ok. Venkys remain disliked owners but got the moment the feelgood factor among fans outweighs the anger over our loss of Premier League status.
Which was your favourite match involving Blackburn Rovers?
My favourite match was the 3-2 win at Burnley on Boxing Day 1977. No footage was ever filmed but if some were exhumed I’d pay a grand to sit through it again.
Which was your least favourite match involving Blackburn Rovers?
Least favourite was the play-off final second leg defeat at Selhurst Park in 1989. Jack Walker hadn’t really come on the scene and people of my generation – I was 30 then – genuinely believed we had blown the best chance we would ever have of playing top flight football.
Were you disappointed with the draw?
Not at all, a home draw is a night out at Ewood for me & my daughters. I love the Cups and always believe in trying to win every game. A draw against a team lower down the league is one any fan naturally thinks is winnable but Lincoln fans can take Heart from the fact that we’ve lost plenty of these kinds of games.
I hope your fans come in good numbers and enjoy our stadium & have a lovely night. You seem like a team heading the right way under innovative management and we wish you well…although not on Tuesday!
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) August 28, 2018