Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley believes his side have learnt a lot from their brush with Premier League opposition. Hoping that it will have improved the squad with promotion in their sights.
The Imps matched a full-strength Everton side for large parts of the game last weekend. Though ultimately, they fell to a narrow defeat and bowed out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage.
Cowley on learning from Everton
After going 2-0 down within the opening 15 minutes, many Lincoln fans will have feared the worst. However the EFL League Two leaders rallied, and fought their way back into the game.
And despite the home side’s dominance, Cowley’s men fought for an equaliser right until the final whistle. This meant that the underdogs were able to leave with their heads high, getting the praise of the travelling support.
It was a game that Cowley believes they managed to make competitive, working incredibly hard to push a ‘world class side’ to their limits.
On the game, he said:
“I think we are much better for that Everton experience than what we were this time last week. We played a Premier League team, one of the best teams in the country, in possession.
“It taught us so much about our defensive organisation. And the level we got to in terms of our focus in that game, and our organisation meant that we found a new benchmark.
“And we have to carry that forward. There would have been no better challenge than that game in terms of developing our defensive structure. So we’ve learnt loads from it.
“I think whenever you play against teams like Everton, in that sort of environment, in front of forty thousand, it can’t help but inspire you.
“And we are looking forward to taking that into what is a really tough run of games.”
The attendance at Goodison Park of 37,900 is the 3rd highest the Imps have been involved with since the 1950s. With the two bigger ones also being under the Cowley’s, against Arsenal and Shrewsbury during other big cup runs.
Saturday was the seventh highest ever crowd that the Imps have played in front of! ?
— Lincoln City FC (@LincolnCity_FC) January 7, 2019
Cowley on Swindon
Lincoln return to league action this Saturday, travelling to play-off hopefuls Swindon, who weren’t involved in cup action last weekend. Instead, playing league football, scoring a stoppage-time winner at Macclesfield to move into the top half of the table.
The Robins have improved somewhat under new boss Richie Wellens, losing just 2 of their last 9 league games. Although they will be wary of the Imps, after losing the reverse fixture 4-1 at Sincil Bank back in August.
And Cowley expects a tough test against a side that he believes are playing well below their level.
On Saturday’s opponents, he said:
“I think that they’re a really good team, they’re a big club, aren’t they? We went to a Premier League club in Everton last week, but Swindon not so long ago, were one themselves.
“They’ve got good players, are well supported and certainly will expect to be at the top end of this division. For me, they’re a minimum Championship club, in terms of their size, infrastructure, facilities, and their support base.
“So we’re really respectful of Swindon. I think they’ve got some real pace on the counter-attack, they’ve got players behind that counter that can feed them. And they carry a real threat.”
On their recent upturn, Cowley said:
“A new manager has obviously gone in, and they’ve had a positive result last week, as well as a couple good results over Christmas. So we are expecting a really tough game.”
The Imps will be hoping to continue their impressive away form, having won 7, drawn 2 and lost 3 from 12 in the league. Which is the second best record in League Two, behind only Forest Green Rovers.
You were unbelievable today.
— Lincoln City FC (@LincolnCity_FC) January 5, 2019
Cowley on the transfer window
With the month of January already over a week old, the transfer window is in full swing. As many clubs enter a mad scurry to sign players that will boost their chances in the second half of the season.
And Danny Cowley has highlighted just how hectic today’s market is. But he insists that he will do his best to strengthen the squad, although has stressed how difficult it can be.
“Obviously we’re in the middle of a transfer window at the moment, and football’s gone, it’s crazy honestly. It’s a brilliant sport, brilliant game, but as a business, it’s ridiculous.
“I don’t know how these clubs can survive, in terms of finances involved, but also in terms of the decisions they make. But it is what it is, it’s the world we live.”
On the club’s own activity, Cowley said: