Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has said that he hopes lessons will be learnt and that they can put their frustrations behind them after two ‘bitterly disappointing’ results.

An issue with the watering system at Sincil Bank left the pitch dry, which Cowley believes was a contributing factor to their struggles in the 2-2 draw with Carlisle United in the EFL on Tuesday night.

Cowley on Carlisle draw

The Imps surprising stalemate against John Sheridan’s side meant that their lead at the top of League Two was cut to just three points.

And Cowley admits that there was more than one reason that his team failed to come away with a victory. But he is optimistic that the same problems won’t happen again.

On the issue, Cowley said:

“I’m bitterly disappointed that we didn’t get the result we wanted to, I’m not a good loser, or even a good drawer. But just to clarify, the water issue was only a contributing factor.
“The reason that I was so annoyed is because we work all week to try to get on the right side of the one percenters, all those little bits that can get you on the right side of the small margin. And we felt, without the pitch being watered, it took about 20 per cent from us.
“It definitely played its part. Human mistakes happen, but we’ve got to learn and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Are we perfect? No. But I’m gonna work damn hard to strive to be, and make no apologies for having really high standards.”

On the result, Cowley said:

“On a Tuesday night in half-term when you’re packed out at Sincil Bank, you just want to provide a really good product for them and I was frustrated that we couldn’t do that.
“Our defending was no way near the standards that we expect of ourselves, and when you concede two goals at home, it becomes very hard to win.”

With Carlisle surrendering the lead twice, it now means that they have won just 1 of their last 6 games in EFL League Two, as they slipped into the bottom half of the division.

Whilst Lincoln are unbeaten in 4 to keep their sights firmly on promotion.

Cowley on Colchester

Cowley’s Lincoln side face a tricky trip to high-flying Colchester this Saturday, who themselves are looking to prove a point, after a disappointing defeat to Grimsby Town in midweek.

Much like The Imps, Colchester are somewhat of a free-scoring side this season, bagging 29 goals in the league so far, bettered only by Lincoln’s 30. As well as this, their reasonably solid defence means that they have an impressive +13 goal difference, which is again, only beaten by Lincoln’s +17.

And Danny Cowley believes that the Us will prove to be an extremely difficult test for his side, a challenge that they cannot take lightly.

On Saturday’s opponents, Cowley said:

“We are really respectful of Colchester, they’ve got a really good model. They’ve signed two players for six-figure sums, two of the best players in League Two at their club.
“They are a dangerous team, I would expect to see them right in and around the automatic promotion places. I think they’ve got a clear style of play and are well coached.
“I don’t think anywhere away from home in this league is easy. We’ve got a really good record away from home which I’m proud of, but we’re certainly looking forward to getting back out there Saturday.”

Lincoln have managed to pick up an impressive 16 points out of a possible 21 away from home this season, which is better than any other side. Whereas, Colchester have won 5 and lost 2 of their 7 home games so far.

Cowley on injuries

Recent absentee Michael O’Connor returned to action in midweek, but the Imps are still awaiting the return of captain Lee Frecklington and centre-back Jason Shackell.

And to make matters worse, last year’s Player of the Season Neal Eardley was substituted in the first half against Carlisle after going down clutching his lower leg.

Cowley said:

“They (Frecklington and Shackell) are definitely closer to being involved. We had them on the grass today, which has been a real positive.
“We’ll see how they respond off the back of that, and make a decision as to who travels to Colchester tomorrow morning. We’ll see how they wake up and make a late call then.”

On Eardley, he said:

“Neal’s a key player for us, and we think we’ve caught it before it happened, so we’re always hopeful. But again, it’s still quite new, so he wasn’t on the grass today, but we’re hopeful that maybe he will be tomorrow.”