Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has praised his side’s never say die attitude, as they snatched a draw against Exeter. The 96th minute John Akinde goal salvaged a point for the Imps that took them seven points clear of fourth.
However, Cowley was disappointed with his team, saying that their decision-making and execution could have been better. And he knows that they will need to improve if they are to succeed this season.
Cowley on Exeter draw
The late leveller means that Lincoln are now unbeaten in 11 straight league games, a run going back to Boxing Day. A concern, however, is that seven of those games ended in draws, as Cowley understands that something needs to change.
He insists that his boys have been working hard in training, and will learn from the Exeter game.
And Cowley knows that there is a real expectation around the club now, which is something that they have to deal with.
On the game, he said:
“We’re disappointed with our decision-making and technical execution, particularly in the lead up to their goal. We felt that we brought it upon ourselves.
“And we’ve had a good look back at the game today, and did what we always do. We tried to learn from the errors in our ways.
“I was pleased with the response second half, particularly when we made the changes. The fact that we’ve got a real togetherness and spirit is the reason you can find those late goals.”
On his substitutes, Cowley said:
“Credit to the subs, because it’s not easy being a squad player in a team that’s top of the league. Because we’ve been top, and a lot of our results have been positive, you don’t make as many changes as other teams.
“I thought the boys that came on made a big impact, and that gives us food for thought going forward.”
⌛️ John strikes late!
Full gallery ? https://t.co/j3fx5R3PNF#ImpsExe pic.twitter.com/7jEaywasNt
— Lincoln City FC (@LincolnCity_FC) February 27, 2019
Cowley on Forest Green
This Saturday sees the Imps go back on the road as they face play-off chasing Forest Green Rovers. They are a side who Lincoln share a rivalry with, having competed for the National League title two seasons ago.
Rovers will be hoping to improve on their recent form, having won one, drawn one and lost three of their last five games. And manager Mark Cooper will be hoping to lift the hoodoo that his side has against Lincoln, having lost all five times he’s faced Cowley.
On Saturday’s opponents, Danny said:
“I think there’s always a natural rivalry when two teams have competed directly against each other over a period of time. And that obviously stems back from the time in the National League in the 16/17 season.
“It’s a game that we definitely look forward to. We’re respectful of Forest Green as a club, they’ve got some good players, and they’ve had a very good season. They’re obviously well backed financially.
“We’ve had success there, we’re clear on why we’ve had that success. And I think where that rivalry comes from, the majority of players are different now.
“So we take every game in its isolation. We’re looking forward to going to Forest Green, we’re looking forward to getting on the road again. We’re very good away from home, and have been very consistent.
“We know how they want to play, and we’ll be prepared.”
Lincoln will be encouraged by their excellent away form, having won 9, drawn 5 and lost 3 on the road. Which is a record bettered only by West Bromwich Albion in the entire Football League.
An iconic #ThrowbackThursday, starring @SeanRaggett.#ImpsAsOne pic.twitter.com/1uykeR5E49
— Lincoln City FC (@LincolnCity_FC) February 28, 2019
Cowley on the return of Anderson
Tuesday’s late show will have no doubt given Cowley some selection dilemmas for Saturday. And a man that can be added into that dilemma is winger Harry Anderson.
The speedy youngster is back from a three-game suspension after picking up a red card against Northampton.
And he will be hoping to have the same returning impact as fellow winger Bruno Andrade, who has managed six goals in five games.
On Anderson, Cowley said:
“You always miss Harry’s energy and his endeavour don’t you? You can’t underestimate how much work he gets through. And particularly at home he makes us dynamic.
“We’re respectful of what our supporters want. He’s ready, but we have been unbeaten in the period that he hasn’t played.
“Harry had an erratic moment, but he’s a young boy, and let’s be honest, he’s done brilliant this season. He did brilliant last season.
“He regrets the incident and he’s learnt from that. He’s a really good character, full of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. And those are the types of people we want to work with.”
Harry Anderson has been with the Imps since August 2016, having initially joined the club on loan. This makes him the clubs third longest-serving player. And fans will be hoping he can help them see through a third successful season.
@hazanderson10 get yourself back on that pitch Saturday….we've missed you! (Tonight more than ever)! It's about time we gave a reasonable team a good stuffing! Good luck Harry!
— PeteH (@pete9259) February 26, 2019