Imps manager Michael Appleton spoke to the media ahead of Rotherham United’s visit to LNER Stadium in SkyBet League One on Friday evening and he made it clear all the squad are keen to bounce back the from disappointment of last weekend.
The evening game against The Millers is looking likely to be sold out by kick off and with fans across the country watching live on WeAreImps iFollow, it’s shaping up to be a intriguing encounter.
“It’s clearly going to be difficult, they’re a very strong, physical side, very athletic, a lot of pace in the wide areas. The two up top are going pretty well at the minute, so it’s going to be a difficult game, no doubt about it, but we’ve had difficult games here over the past two months or so and acquitted ourselves really well.
“We’ve played well for the majority of the time and with the backing of our fans we’ve made it difficult for teams, so we need to do that tomorrow night.”
With the prospect of the game under the lights ahead and the prospect of a sell-out crowd, Michael addressed the impact night games can have on the atmosphere and the players.
“I liked the thought of playing under the lights, as a player you tended to feel like you had a little bit more energy in evening games. The atmosphere, like we all know, is almost like a cup tie because it’s played in the evening. I’m expecting a really good atmosphere.”
The Imps announced the signing of Anthony Scully on Monday, and the manager praised his most recent acquisition’s attitude and performance in training so far.
“Anthony’s someone I’ve been aware of for a while with my knowledge of the Under-23s market, and even though he’s a young kid he’s very aggressive, and the players will probably tell you that from the couple of days he’s been training.
“I think the fans will take to him. He scores goals, he’s very highly thought of and we’re glad we’ve got him. He’s ready, and he trains every single day how he plays.”
While Michael admits that the side have progressed over the last few months overall, there’s still room for improvement and our opponents on Friday evening are a good barometer for where he would like The Imps to be in the not too distant future.
“We’re still so far away from where I want to be. Hopefully this time next year we’re in a place similar to where Rotherham are now where you’re really looking to push on and try to do something really special in the second half of the season.
“We’re in a position now where we have to stay strong, resolute and make sure that we’re really competitive and that we’re fighting hard. First and foremost, whether people like it or not, the single most important thing is that Lincoln City are playing at this level next year.
Michael continued: “I want to try and produce a squad that’s capable of competing in the Championship. That takes time, so first and foremost let’s make sure that we get a little bit of progression between now and the end of the season, see certain things that we want to integrate into next season and then make sure we have a good summer.”