Michael Appleton knows Darren Ferguson well and is looking forward to the upcoming contest against his free-scoring Peterborough United side.
Sunderland: The game was just what MA and the players needed after a good week of training. It was a cup tie atmosphere, the fans were amazing, the players responded with the performance speaking for itself. The midfield and back four worked hard to keep Sunderland in front of them whilst TW and JP did their bit against the opposite back four. Apart from the De Bock shot which was a shock (took it on his right foot) resulting in the big, big Vickers save MA felt Imps were very comfortable. Sunderland only looked like posing a threat at set-pieces.
Peterborough: MA knows Darren Ferguson very well going back to when they were both young players at Manchester United. They have contested many games as managers with MA having a good head to head record, losing only one match. MA fully expects DF to play with a diamond seeking to free up Maddison behind their front two. Peterborough back themselves to score goals and win games. Their three main goal scorers pose a very dangerous threat and it is incumbent on Imps to nullify balls into those players when they are in dangerous positions. MA having taken stock is pleased with Imps presenting a good balance over the past few games being as good out of possession as when ‘we’ have had the ball. The obvious need to stay in games (hard to beat) has been addressed but it shouldn’t be overlooked that ‘we’ have good attacking players ourselves so Peterborough will have their own concerns when Lincoln turn over the ball.
Injury Situation: Michael Bostwick is struggling having had a set back when pushing himself yesterday; very disappointing for him knowing his attitude. It will be necessary to re-evaluate (recovery program) over the next week or two. Tom Pett is very close having trained for the last fortnight and he could well be in the squad for Saturday. Whilst short of match fitness if MA feels it necessary to utilise TP he will. The player naturally benefits from a slight build and not carrying much body fat. Lee Frecklington has also been training but the trickier nature of his injury means that he requires more delicate handling. Ben Coker is the really long term injury and it will be the end of the year before he is seen. There will be a squad game at Sheffield United on Monday.
Currently, there is a lot of experience ‘out of the team’ leading to a reliance on the younger players. Over time MA hopes to have a fully fit squad to look at enabling him to better understand who his strongest 11 are.
Individual Players: In the course of the press conference MA noted in passing the position with several players. Responding to the international call ups MA credited Aaron Lewis with an excellent game against Manchester United U21s looking forward to him returning injury-free from the international break. Joe Morrell was much happier with his Sunderland performance than the couple previously having set the bar so high early in the season. MA fully understands it is normal for young players to (consistently) maintain such high standards and wasn’t surprised to see young players like Joe and Callum Connolly using a lot of energy chasing lost causes (prior to Sunderland) when the side were looking to keep the shape. That is very understandable from young players. MA is not worried about becoming over-reliant on Tyler Walker for goals pointing out that after all, he is the focal point for the team. Furthermore, Jack Payne is demonstrating his ability to interchange with Tyler in the number 9 role getting himself into good positions with the players being encouraged to do so. Jorge Grant is an intelligent player, MA commenting JG ‘is right up my street and the type of player I’m looking to bring to the club’. JG knows when to come off the line forming key combinations with Harry Toffolo. Bruno Andrade has shown the same ability on the right which adds a whole new dimension not forgetting that Harry Anderson will be ‘chomping at both their heels for his opportunity over the coming weeks’.
Michael Appleton LIVE
Posted by BBC Radio Lincolnshire Sport on Thursday, 10 October 2019
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) October 10, 2019