Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has said that he can’t fault his players’ commitment after they fell to an unexpected 1-0 loss away at Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night.

Despite midweek’s disappointing setback, Lincoln remain at the summit of League Two, heading into the weekend clash with Crewe Alexandra.

Cowley on the Tranmere game

Danny Cowley believes his side have taken something from their defeat and have learnt from it, which he believes will put them in better stead for the future.

James Norwood’s second-half strike was enough to see Lincoln suffer their first away loss of the season. Losing to a side that the Imps had challenged for promotion back in the National League.

However, Cowley is focusing on the positives from the game.

He said:

“You never want to lose, but if you learn then you’ve taken something from it. We played really well first half, arguably the best we’ve played since I’ve been Lincoln City manager.
“We needed to be a little bit more ruthless in the final third and a little bit more clinical in our final action and unfortunately we weren’t that. I felt Tranmere came out much better in the second half, they made it more difficult for us.
“We just didn’t have that little bit of quality to get us back in the game. We now have to lick our wounds and go again on Saturday.”

Cowley on criticism

After any defeat, a side will receive criticism from their fans, and Lincoln are no different, as target man John Akinde, in particular, has received some stick due to his lack of goals.

Cowley insists, however, that the fans and team should stick together and get behind the club for everyone’s benefit.

On the criticism, Cowley said:

“Football is always about opinions and supporters will always have them, it would be boring if they didn’t. So you have to except that.
“I always get disappointed and upset when I feel like our supporters want to see the worst in a player.
“For me, I’ve worked really hard to make this a real family, and I always think relationships are two-way things. If the supporters support us, we do our best to help support them and if you’re a family, you want to see the best in people and you want to stick together.
“There will always be one or two that go against it, and we have to be big enough to shoulder that responsibility and accept that.”

Cowley on Crewe

Lincoln return to Sincil Bank this Saturday to welcome a Crewe Alexandra side who recovered from three games without a win in midweek, when they overcame play-off chasers Swindon Town.

A tough run of results sees the Railwaymen sat in 17th, but they will be hoping that Tuesday nights win will spur them on enough to see them rise up the table.

Lincoln themselves will have difficult memories of Crewe last season, a game in which they suffered arguable their worst home defeat under Danny Cowley.

On Saturday’s opponents, Cowley said:

“I can remember the feeling at five o’clock on the Saturday after the game, it was just disappointment, we let ourselves down on the day. You could count on one hand the times in the 12 years I’ve been a manager that my team have really let themselves down.
“It was painful, but I think my overriding memory from the day is a positive one, with the supporters and how they stayed with us.
“They’re a good team, really dangerous with a lot of really good individual players that can take the game away from you. We are aware of all that and we are a confident team, but as I say we are a work in progress.
“We owe our supporters a really good performance against Crewe, because we weren’t able to get to those levels the last time. The team are looking forward to putting some of the wrongs, right.”