Ahead of the League Cup tie Michael Appleton acknowledged everyone was mindful of the potential for a tie versus Liverpool but as Bradford are a good team that wasn’t an influence on team selection anyway.
Bradford Game: MA always takes cup games seriously as a victory carries momentum into the league games. Regardless of being favourites or underdogs, the players will take the same winning mentality into all matches. Bradford have an experienced manager and are fancied in L2. As such it will be a tough game and if mentality levels drop even marginally from the Oxford performance we will lose the game.
Playing L2 sides pre-season will help with that side of things as the players lost the game against Oldham due to lapses even though Imps dominated the fixture.
MA has not discussed the potential Liverpool draw but the players aren’t stupid, they know what’s at stake and if that serves as an extra incentive that’s great but it will be the same for Bradford. The tie is winnable for sure (if we play to our standards we have a great chance) and Bradford will have exactly the same outlook so it augurs well for a good game of football. Perhaps without the pressure of points being on the line, the players can relax into their football a little more which may help.
There will be some changes but not many; one or two. Liam Bridcutt will not play nor Aaron Lewis the latter having returned with a hamstring injury from international duty. The fitness staff had a clear understanding with the Welsh coaches that he would only play 60 minutes due to his already injury affected pre-season. In the event, he ended up playing the full match. The Welsh are very aware of MA’s views on the matter. Thankfully Alex Bradley’s performances have been both positive and pleasing playing RB so we have some cover for that position with MA having no hesitation in trusting Alex should he need to be deployed there.
Ethan Ross had a wrist injury v. Scunthorpe so wasn’t on the bench for that game. Versus Oxford, his absence was due to the homegrown rule but after tomorrow Sean Roughan qualifies so it will not be an issue; that rule is probably going to get removed shortly in any case.
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Squad Management: Subject to cup progression Imps only have one free midweek through October. Getting the correct balance between training and playing will therefore be critical to maintaining mental and physical peak condition with the emphasis on managing the period between matches seen as essential.
Squads, especially those in L1 and L2 will surely see weekly changes for most sides in an attempt to maintain the players’ freshness as much as possible. After the initial glut of games has settled down MA can see the sense of bringing in a couple of squad loans which will provide a degree of cover whilst benefitting those players individually for the experience – similar to how it played out for TJ (Eyoma) last season.
If you haven’t already had a go at our quizzes, this is a great way to learn some random information about the Football Club, as well as helping us generate much-needed page views: Quiz No.1, Quiz No.2, Quiz No.3, Quiz No.4, Quiz No.5, Quiz No.6, Quiz No.7, Quiz No.8, Quiz No.9, Quiz No.10, Quiz No.11, Quiz No.12, Quiz No.13, Quiz No.14, Quiz No.15, Quiz No.16, Quiz No.17, Quiz No.18, Quiz No.19, Quiz No.20, Quiz No.21, Quiz No.22, Quiz No.23, Quiz No.24, Quiz No.25, Quiz No.26, Quiz No.27, Quiz No.28, Quiz No.29 and Quiz No.30.
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