Michael Appleton’s pre-match press conference ahead of the Peterborough United clash was delivered in his usual relaxed and open manner.
Sunderland: The positiveness following the Ipswich game was helped by the 5 goals but MA wasn’t surprised by that as he felt ‘it’ had been coming after having only lost a couple of tight games versus very good sides. The lads had shown they are more than capable of competing against the top sides in the competition. Now Imps need to produce with more regularity/consistency. MA explained his ethos about the players going for the last goal rather than shutting down the game. At Manchester United, he was taught that you win the game first but you have to win AND play well. In the past, he has drawn games when ahead but MA believes in giving the players licence to make the right decisions and doesn’t want to restrict them. Four players made the right decisions and scored a good goal.
Peterborough: They have quality all over the pitch which explains why they score a lot of goals. They may be having a bit of a dip but MA is mindful that Posh are the type of side that can suddenly string together a number of back to back wins. In the away fixture there, Imps played well for 70/75 mins. before losing impetus following their first goal. That said MA believes the side have moved on since then having demonstrated as recently as Ipswich game that the players have reached the point where they deal well with disappointment. City could have caved in when getting pegged back but didn’t.
Will The Imps win, lose or draw against Peterborough United?
Squad Health: There were a couple of knocks in the Ipswich game so during an intense spell of playing matches the emphasis is on looking after the players and their recovery. Jason Shackell is close to returning; tomorrow may be too soon but he should be ‘in and around the squad’ for Sunderland. Bruno Andrade is still some time away.
Transfer Window: On John Akinde being linked with Salford that wouldn’t surprise him as they are a high profile club with them and a number of clubs always going to be interested in a player like JA during a window. Every player at the club has a price of course which has to be the model going forward to make the club sustainable. It’s not feasible to simply keep signing ‘ready’ players as eventually, the luck runs out. Some players have to be signed for their potential value, developed and moved on after a degree of success. MA plans for all positions with a replacement ready, not just ones he wants to strengthen as he never knows when the club will get a bid for one of its own players. MA can respond at all times as a player not available now could become available within a week or two. Sometimes you are able to sign a first choice addition but if it is a third or fourth choice that is just football. Any players leaving the club will always hear that from himself not via the press or other sources.
The Pitch: Discussions are ongoing about improving the playing surface as that is vital for the quality of player recruitment and development. The players will adapt in the short term e.g. on occasion playing ‘it’ forward more quickly.
Aspirations for the Club: This year is all about being ‘nice and safe’ having been out of L1 for over 20 years. Next year, however, is a real opportunity to kick on. Due to his good relations with the board and other club staff MA believes, hopes and expects to be well backed (financially) in the summer. When that happens MA has no doubts Imps will be competing at the top of the division.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) December 31, 2019