Lincoln City have the opportunity to forget about their League Two form this weekend, when they play host to non-league side Nuneaton Town in the First Round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
After a disappointing defeat to Northampton Town at Sincil Bank on Tuesday night, the Imps’ manager Steve Tilson is determined not to allow his side’s confidence to drop:
“When you’re losing games it’s difficult to get out of it, and somehow we’ve got to change that mentality. It’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not an easy thing to change because in the end, losing becomes a habit, but it’s something we’ve certainly got to try and change because the second half [against Northampton] just wasn’t good enough.”
Saturday’s opponents Nuneaton Town currently occupy a play-off place in the Conference North, and beat Brigg Town, Coleshill Town and most recently Workington, to set-up a First Round tie with Lincoln.
Tilson admitted he was disappointed by Tuesday’s result, after a promising performance against Wycombe at the weekend, and, turning his attention to the clash with Nuneaton on Saturday, he said his team won’t be taking their opponents lightly:
“Any cup game is a big game. I think that you want to win every game and it’s an ideal opportunity for us to get on a winning streak. People say it’s a good draw, but it’s only a good draw if we win the game, because if we lose it then people will be on our back.”
New recruit Josh Gowling, who signed for the Imps on a month-long loan deal last week, made his debut against the Cobblers on Tuesday and shares his manager’s belief:
“The non-league teams are always a bit of a nightmare to play against if I’m honest, because they give that extra little bit, but we’ve got to make sure we take it to them in the first 10 or 15 minutes and make sure we prepare well. If we do that they won’t get near us.”
The Imps will be buoyed by the news that Ashley Grimes, who signed on loan last week, will be available for selection against Nuneaton after Tilson spoke with Millwall manager Kenny Jackett. It had previously been reported when Grimes signed that he would be cup-tied, but instead he could be in line to make his first start for the club.
Tilson had a decent record in the FA Cup with Southend, making the Fourth Round on two occasions, and incidentally beating Lincoln 3-0 in the Second Round of the 2003-04 season – Tilson’s first in football management.
Tilson credited his relative success in the competition whilst at Southend with not making a huge amount of selection or tactical alterations: “In cup competitions, I’ll almost always try and put my strongest side out. I might try and tinker with one or two things, but I certainly won’t be making five or six changes.”
As has been the case for all of Tilson’s reign to date, Paul Green is once again the only injury concern ahead of Saturday’s game, after the defender suffered a setback in his recovery from a thigh strain.Tweet