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"Delighted for the players"

14 December 2019

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City manager Michael Appleton spoke of his pride in the side picking up their second win in a week and a second clean sheet after the win over Tranmere Rovers.

The victory over Rovers puts The Imps in 15th place in League One just seven points below the playoff spots but also seven points away from the bottom three and the tight nature of the division isn’t something that Michael expects to change.

“It’ll be the same throughout the rest of the season. We’re going into a busy period where we’re playing against 4 strong sides, look at Coventry next week and people are talking about how well they’re playing and then there’s Oxford United and Ipswich and Peterborough. It’ll be a good indication after two different games where we are as a group.” Michael said.

Getting the win at LNER Stadium was pleasing for the City boss, but he said it was no more than his players deserved as they had to be persistent in their pursuit of the winner against a side who were resolute after going down to ten men in the first half.

“I’m delighted for the players, to get back to back wins is good, but to get two clean sheets is even better. It was difficult when they went down to ten men they put men behind the ball. I was a little bit gutted as it limited a little bit of space that we were getting in front of them and the switch of play we were getting certainly on the right-hand side.  But we got the win and that’s the most important thing.”

Michael admitted that he had it in his mind to add extra firepower to the team on the pitch at half time although there was a tinge of disappointment that it didn’t come a little earlier after his side had periods of possession in good areas that they didn’t exploit.

“I had it in my head at half time that if it was still 0-0 after the first 10 or 15 minutes of the second half that we were going to go 4-4-2 and put the two strikers up there and ask a few more questions and we did that. The only disappointment in the game was that we got in so many great positions, we have to make sure we find better passes inside the box and be more clinical.”

However whilst the team weren’t as expansive in attack, the City manager was impressed with the defensive solidity shown by his side and will look for more of the same as the Imps head to face Coventry City next weekend.

“Keeping clean sheets is the bedrock of any side I suppose, Bozzy coming into the team in terms of his experience and physical presence as well helped, he’s a leader on the field and did ever so well. People like him take real pride in keeping clean sheets, so the more we keep the more chance we have of winning games.”

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