Danny Cowley covered a range of issues looking back on the Mansfield match and ahead towards Crawley.
Mansfield: DC was clear that it was the right thing to change the team due to the different objectives and planning that is required to achieve the major goals set for this year. The biggest disappointment was losing but ultimately the squad all benefitted from either game time or needed rest. Ideally, DC would like to have rested Bossie and play several others but injuries dictated otherwise. He highlighted, in particular, some individual gains with regard to experience, character and learning for the younger players plus the team had carried out the tactical game plan of getting 2 v 1’s against the Mansfield back three. Regarding the physicality shown by Mansfield DC wanted to emphasise that he had no issue with that whatsoever as it’s a man’s game. He did question whether the rule change allowing competition specific ‘cards’ had been properly thought through as effectively if a team wished to be cynical there was no real sanction. Having spoken with the referee post-match he knew those same concerns were echoed by the official and it would be getting fed back to those that needed to be aware. DC still held those views in spite of (O’Connor) ironically benefitting and he took the view that player safety and welfare was the important issue.
Crawley: In terms of planning for the game DC observed that a change of manager worked both ways so far as knowing how the opposition would set up and who would play. Crawley are a possession-based side who play very well away from home and counter attack with pace up top. A certain Ollie Palmer will be very motivated and he has continued for Crawley where he left off for Imps. DC was pleased on a personal level to see him doing well and had no doubt he will be a real handful come Saturday.
League: DC looked at the league table properly for the first time this week and an indication of how tight the margins are is that he feels there are as many as 15 sides that will have genuine promotion/playoff aspirations this season. In the short term, DC wanted to ensure we had better than the one point return against Crawley from last year.
Training Ground: Starting to see the benefits of training on quality grass with a ready supply of water after the summer we’ve had – pitch 2 was used for the first time today. DC didn’t want to think about how it would have been without that. Expecting to be in the building at the end of September and then we will really see massive gains as once City are in there will be real flow to the day and sessions.
Shay McCartan: Very versatile within his role. A very intelligent player as he will adapt in-game. If the opposition pushes up he will play against the centre-half. If they play deep he will drop into space at the top of midfield. Once he has the ball at his feet he is a real ‘dribbler and shooter’. There are signs of a really good relationship forming with Akinde.
Scott Wharton: He is now fit, very frustrated and chomping at the bit to get back in action after a combination of circumstances have prevented him from playing recently. He has had a good start to the season and has the green light for all competitions – DC confirmed that his Checkatrade ban was now served in full even though last year he had been cup-tied whilst on loan at Imps.
Injuries: James Wilson had been an oddity having been picked up at 60% stress level during training warm up. Thankfully it was a low-level hamstring and he will be training on grass tomorrow. Matt Green is already back in training on grass. Still good news on the Josh Vickers front. He is now back carrying out full goalkeeping drills except for any kicking and that will be very gradually re-introduced in keeping with carefully building up his quad muscle.
Danny Cowley Press Conference
Posted by BBC Radio Lincolnshire Sport on Thursday, 6 September 2018
Thank you to Graham Burrell and Lincoln City Football Club for the photograph!
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) September 7, 2018