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Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has expressed the importance of the next month for his team. But insists every month will be important if they are to be successful this season.

The Imps return to EFL League Two action this weekend after a pair of cup games in the last week. Beating Carlisle United in the FA Cup, before being knocked out of the EFL Trophy on penalties by Accrington.

Cowley on a hectic schedule

With cup competitions out of mind until the new year, Danny Cowley’s side have a busy month of league games coming up.

Lincoln have a total of 6 games to face in the next four weeks, that will be crucial if they are to maintain their promotion push.

City enjoyed a successful final month of 2017, and Cowley will be hoping for the same again this year.

He said:

“It’s as important as November and as important as January. The games do come thick and fast, but probably only seven games again in December, so no, every month is tough.”
“We know what it is, we’re in the middle phase now, the winter months. I think they play a big part in the final outcome, so we’ve got to make sure we navigate through this period well.”
“The football does change in lower leagues, and the games change as the pitches change and the overhead conditions change. So you have to be ready for that and be adaptable, both technically and tactically.”
“And we need to be ready for the challenges that present themselves.”

December 2017 saw the Imps pick up 13 points out of a possible 15 in the league, conceding just 1 goal in the process. Another month like that will surely see them regain top spot in EFL League Two.

Cowley on Stevenage game

Lincoln’s busy league period begins this Saturday, as they travel to play-off chasers Stevenage. A team whose last 4 league games have produced 19 goals, so hopefully we’ll be in for a goal-fest.

They are not a side that should be underestimated. With the last team to visit Broadhall Way, being current leaders MK Dons, who thanks to a last minute winner, left with nothing.

And Danny Cowley believes his side will need to be at their best if they are to get anything from Stevenage this weekend.

On Saturday’s opponents, Cowley said:

“They are a dangerous side. They’ve had some good results, beating Colchester United and MK Dons at home. And they’re a good team, they’ve got some real experience down the spine of the team.”
“They play with a real energy and aggressive pressing. They’ve got a nice balance, with boys in midfield that can handle the ball. And they are in and around the play-offs for a reason.”
“They’ve got a lot of players that have played at a higher level, so we’re expecting a very tough game come Saturday.”

On former-Imp Paul Farman coming up against his old club, Cowley said:

“I know he’s been out with a broken hand, so that was unfortunate because he’s had a good start to the season. But it’s always good to see him.”
“He’s a top lad and was a fantastic part of particularly the team that got promoted out of the National League. And I don’t think we’d be a Football League team today without his contribution.”

Lincoln will be looking for a first away win since the middle of October when they demolished Port Vale 6-2.

Cowley on injuries

Many Imps fans, who went to the 2-0 win over Carlisle last weekend, will have noticed that goalkeeper Josh Vickers left the field in tears. The shot-stopper had suffered another setback in what has been an injury-plagued season.

The issue was enough for Danny Cowley to recall Grant Smith from his loan spell at Maidstone. Hoping to give his side some cover in a position that has been weakened.

On his keeper, Cowley said:

“He’s had his scan, and it’s pretty positive with the news. He’s obviously got this long-standing quad issue. And what the specialist did say to us is that because of the initial tear, there has been a lot of smaller tears.”
“That looks like what happened this time, although it’s not as bad as the last one that he did at Swindon, then Grimsby. So fingers crossed it won’t keep him out for too long.”
“He was just frustrated, that’s what you would have seen coming off the pitch last Saturday. He’s just frustrated where it is. But we are determined to give him Premier League care because we believe he is a top goalkeeper.

Cowley is likely to start on-loan keeper Sam Slocombe on Saturday, who played in the midweek defeat to Accrington. Though this time, Sam will no doubt be hoping to help his side to victory.