THE prospect of facing Cheltenham will stir special memories for Shay McCartan.

They were the same opposition when Lincoln clinched promotion from League Two last season – with McCartan scoring the decisive goal for the Imps.

McCartan had also been on target for his loan club in their 2-0 win at Whaddon Road a year ago, so his presence in Gary Bowyer’s squad tonight could be a lucky omen.

But he knows that City can expect a stiff test against the side currently boasting the best home record in League Two.

McCartan said: “We know what they are about. They’ll be a difficult side to play against.

“Michael Duff was a no-nonsense centre half and he’ll try and put that on his players as well.

“They are hard to play against and physical. It’s not going to be a walk-over of any sort and we have to treat them with the utmost respect.

“They have been scoring goals lately, so we have to bring our ‘A’ game. We have to be able to match them physically.

“But Saturday will give us confidence. We didn’t play well but we still dug out the three points.”

McCartan made his mark from the bench as City left it late before scrapping their way to victory over Walsall.

After an injury-hit return to Valley Parade, the Irishman is thrilled to be back in the mix again following his year away with Lincoln.

Having won League Two, McCartan has targeted similar success with City – but has had to wait his turn up to now.

“There’s 26-27 players who could possibly start, that shows the strength in depth,” he added.

“Pritchy (Harry Pritchard), Dylan (Connolly) and all the new lads who’ve come in the building last few weeks. Then there’s Zeli (Ismail) and I who have just come back into training.

“Hopefully there are no problems now. It’s been a difficult time because I’ve not had that sort of injury before and been out for a couple of months.

“It was very frustrating for me obviously, coming back from the loan and wanting to make an impact.

“I didn’t know the extent of the injury until a couple of weeks in.

“But it was the same for people like Zeli and Paudie (O’Connor) as well. We were working together in the off season.

“We pulled ourselves through and I’ve just been working hard and trying to get back in the team.

“We haven’t played brilliantly yet. We’ve played well in periods but not to our best.

“But it will come. We’ve got too good a squad for it not to happen."