Michael Appleton spoke with the press prior to the meeting with Fleetwood Town (managed by Joey Barton) and before the loan signing of Robbie Gotts from Premier League side, Leeds United had been confirmed.
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Squad Position: MA stated that the Gotts signing was really dependant on 2 or 3 players going out. Umpteen clubs were ‘in’ for the Leeds youngster. The Lincoln players going out was primarily from a loan perspective but never say never. The club feel that the players concerned would benefit from game time between now and January. For example, Jordan A-S is somebody who has had numerous trials in the last 4 to 6 weeks with the blessing of the club to help him progress.
MA responded to a specific positional query pertaining to Harry Anderson. He explained that HA as an attack-minded player will not usually be deployed in the fullback role but of course there will be occasions when it is important to take risks as has been seen.
MA was asked about the club stance if they received late bids for young stars such as Lewis Montsma and Sean Roughan. He was philosophical and recognised that the plan over the next few years is for the players personally and the club generally to progress. Imps are definitely under no pressure to sell their stars and the process is that immediate replacements will be lined up before players are allowed to move.
Availability wise Max Melbourne and Aaron Lewis remain injured with Adam Jackson of course suspended. Tom Hopper still hasn’t trained this week and probably won’t today (Thursday) but should be ok for Saturday. Subject to a negative Covid test (in line with returning international player protocols), Zak Elbouzedi should be available for selection.
Fleetwood Match: They are a good side with the right blend of youth and experience. Harvey Saunders will take some stopping having incredible pace as a real asset. It’s difficult but there are things which can be done to cut the supply line. If that doesn’t work there are alternatives to stop him getting the ball in positions he wants.
MA sees this as a great match for him to judge the players in. He feels the performance will provide him with a good barometer as to where MA thinks Imps will finish up this season.
MA feels there won’t be many games this season when Imps don’t score but of course, the other side to that is ensuring a mindset for keeping clean sheets. Saturday will see two predominantly attack-minded teams that play good football. Most games follow a similar pattern in any case – the first third the sides sus each other out like a game of chess, by the second third one team has often taken a lead so you are attacking or defending accordingly and in the final third you are going for it or holding on.
If the Imps play as well over the next 5 to 10 games as they have initially he would ‘snap your hand off’.
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