Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley believes his side must be focused for their upcoming FA Cup match after being drawn against a somewhat ‘resurgent’ Northampton Town side.

Cowley has said that the Imps can’t think that they are already in the second round because of their league position, as they face a tough test at Sincil Bank this weekend.

Cowley on Northampton

The Cobblers suffered a terrible start to the season that saw them win just 1 of their first 14 games in all competitions, which caused a change of manager. However, that form has since dramatically changed, as they have now won 6 of their last 7.

And Cowley believes that form will no doubt play a part when they face Lincoln for a second time this season on Saturday.

Cowley said:

“It’ll be a really tough game against a very good Northampton team who are resurgent under Keith Curle, they’ve got some really top League One players, so we are expecting them to move through the division and be right in and around it come May.
“We played them, opening day of the season and I thought they were one of the best teams we’ve played, anyone that was there will know we rode our luck on the day.
“We really expected Northampton to push on from there and be right at the top of the division, but football is a crazy game. Dean Austin was a very good manager, but for whatever reason, they just couldn’t find their method, though they seem to be through that now.”

The two sides met at Sixfields on the opening day, with Matt Green’s goal just after half-time proving to be the difference, and fans can expect this game to be just as tight a contest as before.

Cowley on the FA Cup

Lincoln fans will have extremely fond memories of the FA Cup, as just two seasons ago the Cowley brothers guided the then non-league club to the quarter-finals, beating the likes of Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley along the way.

And Danny Cowley has said that the competition holds a special place for him, insisting Saturday’s match will be taken as seriously as any league game and that it isn’t simply a distraction from promotion.

He said:

“It’s the FA Cup, it’s a great competition, it’s one that has been very good to us as individuals and also to our club in recent times. It’s actually the first time we’re playing an FA Cup game at Sincil Bank since Brighton, and we all remember what a special day that was.
“So we are certainly looking forward to it, as to me it’s the greatest cup competition in the world.
“I’ve been asking a lot of the boys how far they’ve got in the competition, and they didn’t ask me how far I’ve gotten, but I told them anyway. But seriously, we see it as a really good distraction.
“Certainly in the 16/17 season, people kept telling me that it was going to get in the way of our promotion, but for us, we just gained unbelievable confidence from beating teams above us in the pyramid and we learnt so much from it.”

Lincoln’s run to the quarter-finals in 2017 saw them become the first non-league side to reach that stage since Queens Park Rangers in the 1913/14 season. Can they go one better and reach the semis this season?

Cowley on injuries

The Imps duo Neal Eardley and Michael Bostwick are the latest injury concerns that Cowley has to consider ahead of the weekend. The former has missed the last three games since going off in the draw against Carlisle, whilst the latter didn’t feature in midweek after picking up a slight issue.

But Danny Cowley is optimistic and has said that both are close to recovery, believing that they may be able to play on Saturday.

He said:

“We are hoping that they will be available to us, we will have to see what the next 24 hours brings, but we are hopeful.
“With the Yeovil game being called off, we have a two-week window after that so it means we can be quite aggressive with our selection.”

On using injections for players before games, Cowley said:

“It’s always player centred and player first, we’d never just give a player an injection just to get them through a game. There’s ones to reduce inflammation and swelling, and also to strengthen ligaments.
“They are not just painkilling injections, it’s always with the players best interest at heart.
“You’ve got to know your players, some want to feel 100% before a game and others will want to play regardless, so we gather the necessary data in order to make the right decision.”