At Monday’s press conference Michael Appleton was forthright about the poor performance at Gillingham but stressed the need to deal with that quickly and move onto the FA Cup replay versus Ipswich Town on Wednesday night.
Gillingham Performance: Including a couple of career defeats at Wembley the Gillingham defeat was a tough one to take with regard to keeping MA’s emotions (anger) in check. He was slightly angered but is calmer now. MA did not see ‘that’ coming (off the back of decent recent efforts) and went as far to say it was the worst performance during his management career. Defeats are an acceptable part of football but regardless of whether the opposition are Liverpool or whoever, it was the manner of the defeat that was unacceptable.
MA when responding to questions did lighten the mood when responding that the players were physically ok as he ‘couldn’t remember us making a tackle although they may be mentally scarred’, before quipping, ‘If not they will be by the end of the day’.
MA will not be dwelling on the game – Saturday’s gone – as it doesn’t serve any purpose – he always looks forward and doesn’t want to take the negativity into Wednesday. Of course, there will be a discussion about the performance but there is no point spending hours going over making the players watch the video. MA will learn more about the players and staff now than during a good spell. As a group ‘we’ will promise ourselves to never have a repeat of Gillingham and it is a good thing Imps have a game to look forward to particularly in light of the upcoming blank weekend.
Ipswich Replay: The game is an opportunity to put things right, to bounce back. Under his tenure-ship performances at SB have been pretty good so MA is looking forward to a cup tie under lights in front of hopefully a decent crowd. It will not be difficult to get a reaction from the players so whilst the result cannot be guaranteed the performance at least will be ten times better (than Saturday). IMPS WILL make changes from Saturday’s line up also MA expects Ipswich to field something akin to their normal starting 11 following the postponement of their own match last Saturday. Imps haven’t been practising penalties as MA already knows the players that will be comfortable dealing with that situation and can make a final decision on the night depending on how individuals deal with their own performance during the game.
Injuries: Lee Frecklington has now trained properly for two weeks and the return of a player of his quality will be most welcome. Bossie and Ben Coker whilst travelling to the match at Gillingham are not really ready just yet. Michael O’Connor is a big miss – ‘you’ only have to look at how the team performs with and without him including in games where he has had to come off. Imps have good attacking midfielders but a dearth of players with the know-how, experience and positional sense of MOC; it is an area that needs addressing. The player has a problem at the lowest part of the hamstring, possibly back of the knee. In light of previous knee problems, Michael needs clarity on the inconclusive procedures undertaken thus far so a second opinion will be sought.
Miscellaneous: After the replay, it may be beneficial to give the players a bit of time off during the break but then re-group before a cluster of important games to face after that. Any financial windfall from the cup would be welcome but MA doesn’t see it critical to recruitment as it is obvious Imps need to strengthen with MA planning some key recruitment meetings over the next 10 days.
Posted by BBC Radio Lincolnshire Sport on Monday, 18 November 2019
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) November 19, 2019