Here’s a round up of the news in our division this evening, including the front runners to take over at Grimsby and Cambridge.
- Firstly to Cambridge. Despite their draw with us this weekend, they’re a club in turmoil. Manager Shaun Derry left immediately after the final whistle, a situation that had developed prior to the game. Their new owner, Paul Barry, spoke with the BBC this morning looking to clarify a number of points about the club’s future, but it has only served to ask more questions. The Cambridge news report fears the club could be forced to move to Stevenage or Histon and want answers to questions surrounding board structure and funding.
- Meanwhile, former Cambridge player Omer Riza has made his intentions to apply very clear. He was one of several managers unable to prevent Leyton Orient’s relegation last season and he’s openly stated he wants a return to the Abbey Stadium. Sadly for Riza, he doesn’t feature amongst the bookies favourites. Current assistant manager Joe Dunne is red-hot favourite to take control, with Mark Bonner and Robbie Neilson also in the running.
- Cheltenham keeper Scott Flinders has spoke of watching the Imps win the National League title last season, but tomorrow he’s looking to silence our bumper crowd. He was in the Macclesfield squad beaten 2-1 at Sincil bank in April, an afternoon he remembers well. “I remember going there last season the day Lincoln won the title in front of the BT Sport cameras,” Flinders told Gloucestershire press. “The place was absolutely bouncing that day and we know it’s going to be a big crowd on Tuesday. I have a good friend who is a Lincoln fan and I actually saw him on Saturday, so he was giving me plenty of grief!”
- Kevin Nolan has been speaking out after a difficult week for Notts County. He’s urged his players to find their identity again after defeats against Barnet (1-0) and Swansea (8-1). Speaking to Leigh Curtis in the Nottingham Post, he said; “I want my lads to show that they can follow instructions and get our identity back. We want to get back to what Notts County have been feeding off the last year which has helped us to where we are now.” Nolan was highly critical of his players on Saturday, accusing some of back chatting and ignoring his instructions on the field.
- Our old friends from codland are looking for a new manager too. They’ve been in awful form, I thought we ought to take a minute to appreciate how bad it has been. They have not recorded a win in the last 10 games, forcing three draws against Cheltenham Town, Colchester United and Mansfield Town. Defeats to Yeovil, Luton (twice), Newport, Morecambe, Crewe, and Accrington has seen them concede 18 goals at an average of 1.8 per game while scoring just 4 to give them a -14 goal difference over this period. Sadly, Agent Slade was booted out this week after 8 months in charge, meaning they’re looking for their fourth manager in two seasons. John Askey is well favoured with bookies, he’s doing a grand job at Macclesfield but is also likely to be in League Two anyway next season. Robbie Stockdale is priced at 3/1, he’s had two matches in charge of Sunderland on an interim basis. Phil Brown is also on the list, sparking fears of ‘same old, same old’ at Blunder Park. For the record, Danny Cowley isn’t priced.
- Luton manager Nathan Jones has responded to Stevenage’s Darren Sarll after the two had differing opinions over a penalty in their recent 1-1 draw. Sarll called the decision involving James Collins ‘scandalous’, but Jones retorted with a few simple points of his own. “I’m sure whoever is calling it ‘scandalous’ would have had the same view I have with the TV footage and it’s definitely a penalty. He’s gone through the back of him, your last man and he’s been very fortunate to escape without a red card, because that is a red card. There’s no-one else around, no-one else who is going to affect that or block that shot. He is shooting, for me it’s definitely a penalty and should have been a red card.”
- A bit of EFL news now, because I know you all hold them in such high regard. They’ve agreed a deal with Elms Marketing to become the exclusive supplier for the names, numbers and sleeve badges which feature on the shirts and replica kits of all 72 EFL clubs. New letters and numbers will feature on the kit in the Sky Bet EFL, Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy matches as part of a two-year cycle, with an updated style being introduced for the 2020/21 campaign. Shaun Harvey,EFL Chief Exec said: “Elms Marketing were selected as our new partner having successfully come through a robust and competitive tender process. I am delighted to have them join us as an Official Licensee of the EFL. The ability to include the name and/or number of a supporter’s favourite player has become an important feature of being a football fan. I look forward to working with Elms Marketing to assist our clubs to further improve retail sales by incorporating a distinctive, eye-catching design that is consistent across all 72 clubs, promoting the EFL Brand and Charity Partner.”. I bet you’re glad that’s sorted, yeah? Maybe now they can concentrate on the non-important stuff like fixture congestion, the EFL Trophy format and Seb Stockbridge still being allowed to referee matches.