Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has said that his side can’t expect to win every game, and that they cannot take the league they are in for granted, after a frustrating result in midweek.

Tuesday night saw the Imps held to a draw by mid-table Oldham Athletic, despite their opposition playing the whole second half with ten men. As Cowley believes Lincoln have struggled turning their draws into wins.

Cowley on Oldham game

The stalemate at Boundary Park means Lincoln have now won just 1 of their last 6 league games. Which means that they have lost their place at the top of EFL League Two to MK Dons.

They do, however, have a game in hand on their title rivals, and Cowley says that his team are a target for others because of their position.

On the game, Cowley said:

“Anyone that thinks going to Boundary Park on a wet, cold, late November, Tuesday night is easy, then they haven’t been. It was a really tough game. Like I said after, Oldham were excellent, particularly with ten men.”
“They made it really difficult for us. I think when we’ve been top of the division for quite a bit of time, everyone tries harder against you. That’s why getting to the top is one thing, staying at the top is much more difficult.”

On criticism, he said:

“We’ve lost one in 11 games, but we’ve drawn too many of those games. Consequently people will criticise, they are allowed to. But I want them to stay with the players, I always want them to, because it does hurt some of their feelings.”
“It doesn’t bother me, it upsets my mum and my wife a bit, but not me.”

Lincoln fans can look at the positives, in that their team remain 3 points clear of the play-off places, and are still within touching distance of the leaders.

Cowley on Carlisle cup tie

This Saturday sees the Imps take a break from league action, as they host fellow EFL League Two side Carlisle United in the FA Cup second round.

John Sheridan’s side have the third best away record in the league, winning 5, drawing 2 and losing 3. So the Cumbrians will be no easy victory, as Lincoln would know, having been held to a 2-2 draw when they visited Sincil Bank in October.

And Danny Cowley believes his side must be on their game if they want to make it to the third round.

On Carlisle, he said:

“I think they are in a better position, they had a lot of injuries when they came to us last time, and we felt like it was points lost. They had a centre forward playing centre half and some real injury problems, as to be fair, we did at the time as well.”
“But they’ve done very well away from home, they’ve got one of the best records in the league. They have just come off the back of beating Swindon away, not many teams can do that. And even on Tuesday, they were very unlucky to draw, because they totally dominated the game.”
“They are good, they move the ball really quickly, they’ve got good ball handling midfield players and wide players with real energy. So they are a really dangerous proposition.”

On the FA Cup, Cowley said:

“This is to get to the third round of the FA Cup, which isn’t easy. But we’re one game away from another game changer, and we know what the FA Cup has done for us as a club. It’s been pretty good to me as an individual and to this football club in recent times.”
“We like the FA Cup, and we’d love a good run.”

A victory against Carlisle on Saturday would see Lincoln make the FA Cup third round for just the 3rd time in the last 20 years.

Cowley on social media

The club’s recent dip in form has meant that they have come under fire from their fans online, as many believe a change in both tactics and personnel is required.

And though Cowley believes criticism can help improve the team, it can also be a hindrance when everyone isn’t pulling in the same direction. However, the Imps manager focused on the positives when discussing it.

On the effects of social media, he said:

“I don’t do too much social media, but I know that a couple of my younger ones were a bit upset by some negative comments. But I’m really pleased that there is such a high level of expectation and I’m really proud of that.”
“I’m proud that people hold our players in such high esteem and think they should win every match.”
“Whether they are blindingly loyal and give us unconditional support, or they’re critical friends. As long as they support Lincoln City and have the clubs best interest at heart, then they will always be alright by me.”