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29 December 2019

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Michael Appleton was pleased with his sides attacking play as they put five past Ipswich Town in front of 10,012 fans at LNER Stadium.

The Imps boss praised the character his side showed throughout the 90 minutes following three goals from the visitors.

“I am delighted with our attacking play at times, I was confused a little bit about our defending but having said that I think I’m nit-picking,” explained Michael.

“They punished us when we were sloppy in possession, but the biggest thing is that we have gone ahead at times in the game after being pinned back.

“To show the character we did to go 4-2 up in the game, you start to think come on let’s go again now. When they got the third goal, I turned around to Kers (David Kerslake) and Macca (Jamie McCombe) and basically said that this would be the real test if we have any character as a group.”

Appleton continued by praising the work rate his players put in today, including goal-scorers Jake Hesketh and Harry Anderson.

“The play from Jake (Hesketh) and the wide players is something we work on a lot. Harry (Anderson) got the reward for his goal so it is good and moving forward that is something we will keep working hard on.”

The 44-year-old went on to speak about how his side can improve going forward: “It has given everyone a lift because I thought we deserved to lead at half-time.

“There were a couple of plays which were sloppy, I don’t mind people making mistakes, but you’ve got to put your foot through the ball.

“After their third goal I was a little bit angry to say the least, but then I asked the question if we had character and I got my answer.

“I think what is really important is that we stay ahead in the game because when you go a goal ahead the opposition open up and it is important to get the first goal in any game of football.”

Michael finished by speaking highly of the Imps supporters, thanking them for their continued support.

“When the opposition brings a load of fans in the Stacey West Stand, the atmosphere is fantastic because we have the 617 going mad next to them.

“We had just over 10,000 here today but it felt like we had 20,000. I am sure there will be a similar atmosphere on New Year’s Day. It really does help the players when they play in front of a crowd like today, so I’m looking forward to seeing the atmosphere next time.”

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