Danny Cowley was supremely relaxed ahead of the midweek clash with Oldham; presenting in a very good mood – even getting to deliver an on the spot fine following an errant reporter allowing his phone ringer to activate.
Mansfield: DC was very happy with the process regardless of the outcome. He feels the team is defending really well as a group with everybody contributing such as JA pressing at the top and BA putting in recovery runs. If Imps continue as a collective the clean sheets will come. DC was a little disappointed that City didn’t make the most of the opportunities with chances breaking down at the final pass so that is something to work on. That said Imps caused a good Mansfield side to make four or five in-game tactical changes so that demonstrates the good control Lincoln had. If ‘we’ play to those levels consistently the results will come.
Injuries: Squad came through the game with a clean bill of health so Imps are in a good place physically as well as mentally. LF has trained and technically is able to play. The concern is that he has bone bruising which can be slow to heal and he is feeling ‘it’ when LF hyperextends the knee. DC has held a medical meeting to map out the best way to protect the knee and when that is secure he will be available.
League: DC takes the view that L2 is really tough being significantly tougher than last year. That none of the top 8 teams going into Saturday’s fixtures won, tells it’s own story. That said DC is very happy with Imp’s progress stating ‘We will run our own race and I know exactly what we need to do’.
Tactical Evolution: Imps now have 2 or 3 contingencies depending on the opposition set up and that’s why DC knows Imps are a better team than last year. JA has added a new dimension and on Saturday he occupied 2 if not 3 of their defenders. It is up to management to identify the best way to benefit from that. In the modern game, nobody plays 2 up front as good sides will outnumber that approach in midfield. It is up to the second forward to collapse into midfield like SM to fill that space whilst the other remains as the spearhead. It can be frustrating as people have opinions about who individually are the best players but DC asked for trust on his judgement to find the right formula regarding personnel and compatibility as evidenced by the subs who came on against Stags and nearly won the game.
Oldham: It is tremendous to have NE back. Of the 100+ chances created this season NE has been involved in a tremendous amount hence his postman nickname with the players – he always delivers. KG is pushing for a start (DC isn’t surprised by his goals as he consistently scores in training) along with the two Matts. Like all of the L1 relegated teams from last season, Oldham have managed to keep their squad together. They have an experienced spine allied to a good blend of youngsters in other areas of the side to provide the necessary energy. The right response to the disappointment of conceding late against Mansfield is simply to maintain the levels that were reached against the Stags. DC hopes for a better outcome than his last visit to Boundary Park when he saw West Ham lose a League Cup match 6-0. It hadn’t really occurred to DC that City were now favourites against Oldham – very different to when the sides met in the FA Cup. He was happy for people to make their own mind up and so long as he proved people right or wrong in their individual opinions that’s all that mattered.
FA Cup v Carlisle: Let’s get those tickets snapped up, the players and management love playing in front of a packed SB; everyone remembers what the cup can do for this club.
Danny Cowley pre Oldham
Posted by BBC Radio Lincolnshire Sport on Monday, 26 November 2018
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) November 27, 2018