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Michael Appleton: Hard work pays off

16 September 2020

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Michael Appleton was impressed with his side's performance as they beat Bradford City 5-0 away from home in Carabao Cup Second Round action.

The Imps boss believes his side were helped by the way Bradford setup in the opening stages of the game: "They were really aggressive on their press, and the way they got after us, it probably helped us.

"We kept counter attacking them with our pace and athleticism, that was shown in the first half. We could and should have scored two or three more, we spoke a lot in pre-season about being clinical.

"Since 10 days ago at Crewe we have got into good positions on the pitch and made the right choices, it’s good to see goals on the back of it."

With five City goals coming from five different names (including a Bradford own goal), Appleton was delighted with the way his side attacked their opponents.

"We have got players who can score goals across the front line and in the midfield. We have seen some good finishing; we saw that with James Jones who produced an excellent finish.

"I have been a player myself, three or four goals up but as a manager I had to prepare the players mentally for what was to come. The lads did really well getting the ball into the wide areas and keep working it into the box.

"Callum (Morton) worked his socks off, he played his part tonight and there were a few times in the first half where we had opportunities because once that first ball had been played to Callum he looked after it. We now have great options with him and Tom (Hopper)."

City saw the return of Imps Captain, Liam Bridcutt who came on as a late subsitution for James Jones: "With Brids (Liam Bridcutt) in there we have extra security, I thought Jorge (Grant) did well in there as well again tonight. He has done a great job for us when Brids was out.

"But Liam out of possession gives life to the likes of James (Jones) and Conor (McGrandles). It’s good to see Liam back and fit, it gives us great options going forward because Jorge can push on a bit more."

Michael finished by turning his attention to the next few games, speaking about the next round clash against Liverpool but insisting MK Dons is the game at the front of his mind.

"The Liverpool game will be great for the football club and the city; I’m gutted the fans won’t be able to see the game from in the stands. It is a great game for the football club’s history, we will get a good financial package which is important in the current world we live in.

"It is an opportunity to test ourselves against the best in the country. The side is full of talent, even their second team. We will give it our best shot but first of all we have a really important game against a good side who are going to do well this year.

"We will get the lads fit and turned around for a big trip to MK."

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