Just three days until opening day of the new EFL season, and Lincoln will make the trip to face one of the league’s newcomers in Northampton Town.
The Cobblers were relegated in their last campaign in what was a disappointing showing by all accounts.
Ahead of the match, we spoke to Northampton fan Luke Thoday and he gave us his thoughts.
1) Northampton, relegated last season, how do you think you are going to respond for the new campaign?
“I think that we have got one of the strongest and biggest squads on paper, with some players deemed good enough for top League One teams.
They lacked the necessary team mentality last season and as soon as they learn to play for each other we will be back in League One in no time.
We should have never got relegated with the money we spent and the players we have but that is football.
League Two has some top teams in it which will make it tough”.
Northampton recorded 47 points last season, which included just the 12 wins.
2) In your opinion, why did it all go so wrong last season?
“It went wrong because we had a lot of players who were not playing for the badge, or for their pride.
They obviously had not gelled well and with our old manager changing the team every week and losing the respect of the players, it just fell apart.
If we appointed appointed Austin as manager two weeks earlier we would have stayed up.
Simple bad management and lack of fight is all it took” – He told WeAreTheImps.
Dean Austin was made manager in May after a promising stint as caretaker manager. The Cobblers’ relegation reminds me a little of Lincoln’s. A lack of fight, character and managerial incompetence.
3) You face Lincoln in your first game, obviously we will be looking for one better than the Play-Off’s, how can you see the game playing out?
“Lincoln are in my top two/three this season alongside Notts County and MK Dons.
With Lincoln having a very strong and physical side, I feel we will have to be sharp and aware to be able to compete.
I think that with the two sides both being up there with the top five I feel it will be competitive and an enjoyable game.
I feel being at home we have the advantage but I could not predict a winner as both teams are strong”.
4) Are there any particular threats you can identity from this Lincoln side?
“Matt Rhead and John Akinde are the two main threats in the side.
Rhead bullies defenders for fun and wins headers left, right and centre and Akinde was the only man to bag a brace against the Cobblers the year we won the league.
“Akinde is also very physical and has proven his goal-scoring ability at this level.
Last player would be Neil Eardley, an ex Cobbler who always seems to pop up and haunt us so it will be interesting to see how he does”.
5) Who should Lincoln be looking out for on Saturday?
“Lincoln need to watch out for Shaun McWilliams who is our biggest youth prospect and arguably Northampton’s Player of the Season when he played last year.
He can tackle anyone, anywhere and can play a pinpoint ball to open any defence.
I would also be concerned about our attack with the many options we have to choose from with the likes of Billy Waters, Andy Williams, Kevin Van Veen and Junior Morias”.
Certainly a team stacked with numerous threats, so the Lincoln defence are going to need to defend as a unit to keep the Cobblers out.
6) Final question, we have got to ask, what is your score prediction?
“Score prediction (got to be bias) 2-1 to the almighty Town.
Matt Crookes and Billy Waters to score for us, and Matt Rhead to score for Lincoln”.
Big thank you to Luke for giving us such a detailed insight for the game.
Bring on Saturday.
Up the Imps!!