Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has downplayed the certainty surrounding his club’s imminent promotion. He has instead underlined the importance of their next seven games that will define the season as a whole.
The Imps picked up another impressive away win last Saturday, cruising to a 3-0 victory over 18th placed Crawley Town.
Cowley on ignoring the gap
The successful performance, coupled with other results going their way, means that Lincoln are now 13 points clear of fourth. That huge gap over Mansfield stands with just 21 points left to play for.
This means that a top three place is all but guaranteed for Cowley and his team. But the Imps boss isn’t getting ahead of himself, knowing that until the last day of the season, nothing is for certain.
On staying focused, Cowley said:
“Ultimately I don’t know anyone that’s won a league in March in professional football. We know that the only league table that matters is that one at five o’clock on the 4th of May.”
“So for us, we’ve got seven games to go. We’re really process orientated as a group, and I think when you are, then ultimately that’s where the focus is.”
“It’s on the performance, and that’s what it always is for us. It’ll be about us trying to perform at our very best come Saturday.”
“We’re really determined, we’re unbeaten now since Boxing Day, and we’ve only lost once since October. We’re really proud of that record and the consistency that we’ve been able to achieve.”
“And those are qualities that we’ll be trying to maintain between now and the 4th of May.”
The likelihood of Lincoln’s automatic promotion has reached such a level, that bookmakers have stopped taking bets. Although bets can still be made on the Imps’ title bid, despite now being eight points clear of Bury.
Here's how things are shaping up in the #SkyBetLeagueTwo table.
— Sky Bet League Two (@SkyBetLeagueTwo) March 23, 2019
Cowley on Macclesfield
This Saturday sees Lincoln return to Sincil Bank, as they host relegation-threatened Macclesfield Town. Knowing a win will move them another step closer to League One.
The Silkmen have improved since the arrival of former England international Sol Campbell in November. Macclesfield had picked up just 10 points from their opening 19 games prior to his appointment. But since then, they have gained 24 points from the same number of games.
And Danny Cowley is well aware of the threat that they will pose but relishes the opportunity to face Sol.
On Saturday’s opponents, he said:
“It’ll be a very tough game. Managed now by Sol Campbell, who’s been an international footballer and a fantastic defender. I think he’s come in and certainly galvanised the group.”
“They’ll come here buoyed by the fact that they’ve picked up four points from their last two games. Particularly that they scored an injury-time equaliser on Saturday. So we’re expecting a really tough game.”
“They’re well organised, they’ll make it difficult for us. It’s up to us to try to create an intent and purpose in our play. And if we can get Sincil Bank rocking, then we can make it a difficult place for opponents to come.”
On being complacent, Cowley said:
“We’re in a good moment, but we’re aware that in football if you get ahead of yourself it can quite easily bite you. So for us, it will just be a case of making sure we perform at our best.”
— Lincoln City FC (@LincolnCity_FC) March 29, 2019
Cowley on the community
This week’s Lincoln City press conference was a bit different, as it took place at a local primary school. As Cowley spoke to the pupils of St Hughs primary, where captain Lee Frecklington had attended as a child.
Going into the community and meeting fans is something that the Cowley brothers try to do as often as possible. Danny believes it is their duty to give back to the fans, as without them, the club wouldn’t have achieved what they have.
On meeting fans, Cowley said:
“I think it’s really important. Winning on a Saturday is ultimately what our job is, but for us, that’s only part of it. We hope that by having a successful football team, that gives us the opportunity to be able to reach out to the local community.”
“Hopefully by the way we behave and conduct ourselves, we can be a role model for the young people.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to be here now for just over two and a half years. And the people have just been fantastic, their support has been unconditional. And for me, relationships and partnerships are always a two-way thing.”
“The people of Lincoln have given us an awful lot, and it’s very important that we give back.”
Lee Frecklington was presented with his old football shirts from when he captained the school team. And he’ll be hoping that he can captain his current side to a league title come May.
?️ We were at one of our partner schools, St Hugh's Primary School this afternoon for the @LincolnCity_FC press conference, alongside Danny Cowley and club captain, Lee Frecklington. #InspiringLives #ImpsAsOne pic.twitter.com/hQDpi6rL08
— Lincoln City Foundation (@LCFCFoundation) March 28, 2019