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12 March 2020

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Michael Appleton has prepared his Lincoln side for a difficult trip to Tranmere Rovers this weekend in Sky Bet League One.

Micky Mellon’s side are currently 21st in the league, looking for three points as they try to fight their way out of the relegation zone.

“I have watched them; they’ve had three away games and when you’re in that position it takes the pressure away,” explained Appleton.

“They have a fighting spirit and belief that they can get out of the bottom three which makes them dangerous.

“There’s not a lot in it, you rarely see a side get thumbed, when a bottom side plays a top side, they are usually close competitive games so that’s what will make Tranmere think they have a chance and they’ve got everyone fighting for it.”

The Imps boss continued by discussing Prenton Park’s pitch speaking about how his side will use it to play the style of football they want to: “We have got to be mindful of the pitch and not give them the upper hand to nick the ball in difficult areas.

“The players know already the areas of the field we want to play in so we will try to do that to the best of our ability. Our away record hasn’t been good enough so the more points we can pick up on the road, the better.”

Michael finished his analysis of this weekend’s game by praising Tranmere’s attacking force: “They have got some really good players if you go through their team.

“Their forward line has a bit of pace and there is experience with the likes of (James) Vaughan who can score goals at any level. They might try to get the ball forward quicker rather than having a build-up in their play. I suppose if you look at the game down here it was a good game of football until the lad got sent off.”

The City boss turned his attention to his side, discussing Anthony Scully who found the net last weekend against Burton Albion at LNER Stadium.

“Because of his personality and the way, he plays the game, he is suited to league football because he is direct, passionate and aggressive,” said Appleton.

“I am going to coach into him that he won’t score every time he gets the ball, but there is no doubt about it that he has been very positive since coming in.

“He is playing in a position which he can play in but that isn’t his preferred choice, he wants to be in the centre, but it will do the world of good for him from now until the end of the season.

“There was a calculated risk, but these young guys have come in and are enjoying the experience as we try to finish as strongly as we can.”

Young midfielder Tayo Edun will be available for the Imps after serving his suspension following a red card against Gillingham last month.

Michael spoke about the healthy competition in the side following an impressive performance from Max Melbourne at the weekend.

“Tayo has had a frustrating time knowing he can’t play the next game. He has been at it and there is good competition for places in the middle of the park and Max did really well on Saturday, so it is all healthy competition.”

Appleton finished by discussing his side’s preparation, speaking about how there were a few things to improve on following Saturday’s 3-2 win over Burton: "We try and replicate what we do in the week in the way we play on the Saturday.

“There were loads of things I was happy with but there are a few things in the first half which I have spoken to the players about, and they know I wasn't happy.

“I think we have to concentrate on the next nine games, all a game at a time. The next two games, with the greatest respect to both teams, are very different.

“We are going to face the best footballing team in the league at home so it’ll be very different compared to this weekend’s type of game at Tranmere.”

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