Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley says that the two week period without football will have done his side good, before they come up against a Mansfield team who he thinks will be “full of confidence.”

The Imps had last weekend off due to the international break, with their intended opponents Yeovil Town having call-ups to national sides.

Cowley on the break

Danny Cowley’s side last played a game on November 10th, beating Northampton Town in the FA Cup first round. During that time, City’s next opponents Mansfield have played 3 games, winning 2 and losing 1.

And although Cowley hates the lack of games, he believes the extended break will have helped his side improve their game.

He said:

“We were disappointed that the Yeovil game got called off because we always want to play football at a weekend. I hate weekends without football, but ultimately we just made the best of the situation really.
“I think that having two weeks off has definitely given us the opportunity to recharge physically and mentally. It’s also allowed us to get on the training pitch and continue to add to our game, and we have used the time wisely.”

On how the break has helped injuries, Cowley said:

“The benefit of not playing last weekend has given us the chance to get everybody back on the grass. So other than Sam Habergham, we’ve got everybody fit and available.
“After going through a run of injuries and having quite a lot of niggles in and around the group, to freshen everybody up has been good.”

The break will have helped prepare the club for the 3 games in the space of 8 days coming up, that they will no doubt be ready for.

Cowley on Mansfield

This Saturday sees Lincoln host a local derby, as David Flitcroft’s Mansfield Town arrive at Sincil Bank hoping to get back to winning ways.

The Stags faced League One Charlton Athletic in an FA Cup replay in midweek, and despite starting well, fell to a 5-0 defeat. Although their league form has been much more impressive, losing just 1 out of 18 games. But they have drawn a whopping 10, which is a league high.

And Danny Cowley believes his side will face a tough test, against a team who he believes will be happy with how they’ve done so far.

On Saturday’s opponents, Cowley said:

“I think both clubs will be pleased with the start to their season. Ultimately, we have similar aspirations as football clubs, and with the locality as well, it makes for a healthy rivalry.
“We’ve had the opportunity to watch Mansfield four times recently. It (the Charlton game) certainly wasn’t a 5-0, at 0-0 they were the best team, and Charlton scored against the run of play.
“They’ve had a good run, and I think they’ve only lost once in the league thus far. So I’m sure they’ll come into the game full of confidence.”

On the fans, he said:

“We’re really looking forward to a packed out Sincil Bank, I think it was a sell-out two weeks ago, which is a phenomenal effort from both clubs.
“It says a lot about the state of English football, it’s a really good representation of League Two. I don’t think you’d go anywhere else in the world and find a fourth tier game that’s sold out.”

A crowd of between nine and ten thousand is expected at Sincil Bank, as the Imps will be hoping to inflict a first away defeat of the season on Mansfield.

Cowley on squad improvement

Danny Cowley also spoke about how he used the extended break to improve the ability of his squad, using methods for both on and off the field.

A particular area that Lincoln have struggled in recently is their defence, as they have conceded 15 goals after 17 games so far. Compared to last season where they had conceded the same amount, despite being 8th in the table.

On using the break effectively, Cowley said:

“We’ve done a lot on ourselves, in terms of doing some analysis on chances we are conceding and creating. Also on restarts, I showed the boys a restart presentation on Monday, which I thought was really beneficial.
“We’ve done a little bit on the boys’ health and well-being. We had a sleep expert come in on Tuesday and do some work with them, to try a get some regular and routine sleep, in and around the crazy world of football.
“We have also been doing a lot of work on recruitment. Trying to make sure we are in the best possible position to attack all of the different eventualities that may come from the January transfer window.”

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