Following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home against Mansfield Town in Sky Bet League Two, we asked our members what three things they learned.
Here’s what hulloutpost said:
1. The City backline is very solid. Shackell and Bostwick kept the much vaunted and pacy Walker/Rose combination completely in check. Mansfield were restricted to only two clear chances – once when O’Connor was caught in possession and the goal itself when the ball had already gone out for a throw-in.
2. The immediate problem to be improved upon is decision making in the final third. Several times different players found themselves in good attacking positions but either tried to beat an extra player when a simple pass was on or ended up running down a blind alley.
3. Whatever our management have possibly said or done privately during this and previous games has clearly rattled Flitcroft as he cannot keep his mouth shut before, during or after a match. We can speculate the reasons as to why – possibly under huge pressure due to the massive budget and weight of expectation whilst jealously casting an eye at what the Cowleys have done and continue to create at Lincoln. Whatever the cause he comes across as a classless petulant individual who seems intent on rivalling Cooper as the man Imps fans enjoy seeing implode the most. Ironically unlike Cooperman, his sides haven’t gone on a losing streak against City so we could be in for some real entertainment if that ever transpires.
And here’s what Brendan Bradley said:
1. Our defence appears very strong, with excellent centre-half back up, and I’m generally happy with it but we have not kept a clean sheet in 9 league and cup matches and this is a cause for concern as it is costing points. We have only taken six points from the last 15 and four of those five games have been at home. Even the solitary win, against Forest Green, was fortunate.
2. I hoped the enforced week off would have allowed the reset button to be pressed. Although the performance overall was a bit improved there are still a lot of areas where there isn’t the fluency or precision seen during the good early run. We don’t look anything like as threatening in attack – Akinde remains isolated too often, and despite protestations to the contrary, there are also too many occasions when he doesn’t hold the ball up well enough either. We don’t get enough midfielders in support quickly enough. Frecklington is missed in this regard.
3. Our last three league games have been against certain playoff contenders. Those have been competitive games but we have not convinced in any of them. Ironically, the Mansfield game was the one we probably (just about) deserved to win. I can understand the reluctance to tamper too much with the starting line up but I definitely think it’s time to give Gordon and Green starting positions.
Oh, and here’s what Niqlous said:
1. We learnt that the Cowleys still know how to use those tactical substitutes. Some fans may have been clamouring for the changes earlier, but the other side of the coin is that the subs’ came on once the Mansfield defence was tiring and their impact was noticeable due to the tempo of the game and the mental fatigue of dealing with Shay and Akinde all afternoon.
2. There is a rivalry. Some fans from both sides have been playing it cool all week and claiming the game is not a derby and for some, it is not even a rivalry. To those people I would say look at the reaction of a certain David Flitcroft following their goal – he acted as though they had scored a playoff final winner, getting in amongst the Lincoln dugout before turning to the Posh part of the Selenity stand and gesturing and (failing) to do muscle poses. An average equaliser celebration I think not.
3. Both Lincoln and Mansfield fans should be positive of their chances this season. For their part, Mansfield came with a game plan and played to their strengths. The first half was a very competitive display perhaps with both sides cancelling each other out somewhat. However, in the second half (from a biased Lincoln point of view) the Imps really took the game to the Stags and perhaps should have created a greater lead and applied great pressure and played some lovely attacking football. Before Mansfield showed true grit to score their equaliser (agonisingly). Two very good teams, perhaps Lincoln edged it and should have finished off the game – had one or two runs into the final third that were crying out for the ball to be squared which really stretched the Mansfield defence. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
Thank you to Graham Burrell and Lincoln City Football Club for the photograph!
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) November 26, 2018