Michael Appleton was disappointed to concede late in the first half but was pleased with the way his side approached the second half despite the Imps losing out 2-0 to Portsmouth at LNER Stadium in SkyBet League One.
“It was frustrating to concede late in the first half, but I was really happy with the way we approach the game in the second half,” said Appleton.
“They made it hard in the second half by defending deeper. It’s what you expect from a team that are 1-0 up away from home, it was a tough game for us. We will give them credit because they went ahead and made it difficult by not making many chances.
“I was delighted with the approach in the second half there was more running and urgency to pick up the ball. When you chase the game, you are liable on the counterattack and we will now look towards Saturday.”
The Imps boss continued by discussing how his team can bounce back from tonight’s result as a squad.
“I will help and support the boys to do better, I will be there for them,” explained Michael.
“We needed to force the play and push extra numbers up the pitch, the first goal was key, the last few games it has been like that.
“We knew how tough and organised they would be, it was no different from how they played at their place earlier in the season. The first goal is big and that’s what it was like on Saturday as well.
“Over a period of time the lads will get to know each other better but that isn’t an excuse.”
Appleton finished by speaking about where his side currently stands in SkyBet League One: “The league is competitive, and no one is running away with it.
“It looks like there are eight to 10 clubs fancying themselves in the playoffs, something I have noticed is that the bigger clubs have strength in depth.
“We have a small squad but that can be good at times. It is important to rotate players and keep the players as fresh as possible.
“A week ago, people set a high barrier, they were speaking about the playoffs, but we are where we are. We can give people a good game and up until the goal we did that.
“We aren’t a million miles away, but we aren’t stupid, we know what we are doing and need to do it to move forward.”