A noticeably buoyant Lincoln City team will be hoping to capitalise on last weekend’s home win against Macclesfield when they travel to fifth-placed Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.
City have not achieved back-to-back wins since January. However, hard working midfielder Clark Keltie feels that team morale is high following the 2-1 win over Macclesfield and this could inspire them to their successive victories for almost a year.
He said: “There’s a better feel on the training ground this week. We got a very much-needed win. When Moses [Swaibu] put the ball over the line, you could see how much it meant to us all.
“It will be a tough game. I’ve played there a few times before. They’re a well-organised side and they’re up there for a reason. We’ve got a lot of quality in our side and it’s just a case of coming to place and everything gelling.”
Keltie also believes that the imminent arrival of a new manager is not playing on the minds of the team, and they are only focused on the professional aspect of the game.
“To be honest with you, we all just want to get it over and done with really. We just need to put it to the backs of our minds and focus on what Scott [Lindsey, the Imps caretaker manager] tells us to do on the training field.”
When asked whether the presence of potential new managers in the stands puts pressure on the team to perform, Lindsey moved to reassure the fans that the players will not let off the field matters get in the way of the all important three points.
He said: “They will probably have watched the last few games. I think that it is a good thing that whoever the new manager is, is there. That puts a kind of pressure on people, but it’s good. It, more than anything, livens their game up a little bit. It’s good.”
Shrewsbury Town took the league by storm in the opening stages of the season, massing up an impressive eight wins from their first 10 games in all competitions. Since then however, the Shrews have gone five games without netting a win. Despite this, Lindsey feels the Imps have a difficult away game on their hands.
He said: “If you look at every game, they’re all tough. If you look at Shrewsbury, they’re hard to beat, they get behind the ball and they’re a big, physical side. Make no mistake, we’re going to have to earn our corn again.”
Lindsey can pick from an almost injury-free side this weekend with the exception of long-term casualties Paul Green (Thigh) and Andy Hutchinson (Metatarsal). Drewe Broughton sustained a dead leg earlier this month in the 1-0 loss to Southend. However, he was back in training this week ahead of the game at the weekend.
Lindsey said: “Drewe is actually going to train today (Thursday). He’s been doing extra work with the physio and he’s done everything regarding the ball. We’ll see how it goes and we’ll assess him after training to see whether he will be travelling with us or not.”
With an announcement to be made by the board and a new manager to be unveiled over the next few days, Lindsey acknowledges that this will most likely be his final game as caretaker manager.
“They’ve said it will be within the next week or so. There’s a good chance that this Saturday will be my last game. I’m not saying that’s cut and dry but that’s what they’re aiming for. An announcement should be made for the new manager to be in place for next Saturday at home.”
As a parting note from the manager’s seat, Lindsey hinted that this might not be the last that football fans see from him in that role.
He said: “I’ve really enjoyed this. I think I have taken to it really well, but at the end of the day I’m a first team coach. I think it would show a lack of ambition if I didn’t want to become a manager. I don’t want to be one of these people who will always be a first team coach forever and ever. I’ve still got a lot to learn as a coach.”
Lincoln face a tough test when travelling to Greenhous Meadow but the noticeable rise in team morale brought on by last weekend’s win as well as the possibility of a new manager in the stands should be enough to secure a point against a team 15 places and seven points ahead of them.
The Linc Prediction: Shrewsbury Town 1 Imps 1Tweet