Imps look to return to winning ways against Wycombe

Steve Tilson’s Lincoln City side face a stern test against League Two promotion hopefuls Wycombe Wanderers this weekend.

The Chairboys sit in third place in League Two and just five points behind leaders Chesterfield, whilst a win for the Imps could haul them out of the relegation zone and above fellow strugglers Barnet, who have played four more games than City.

Steve Tilson has had to deal with a depleted squad this week. Photo: Tom Farmery

Tilson’s men have had no trouble finding the back of the net since the former Southend boss took over, but problems defensively and a lack of matches over December has impeded the Imps’ attempts to climb the table.

Indeed, it ended their FA Cup hopes after Hereford United’s 4-3 win at Sincil Bank last weekend.

Reflecting on that performance, Tilson lamented his side’s generosity at the back.

He said: “I thought we played all right. We should and could have won the game quite easily. We had more chances than they did, but you can’t defend like we did. We can’t score three goals at home and lose the game, but with what we had available and the back four we had out, it was always going to be a problem.”

Indeed, given the threadbare nature of his squad after a string of injuries, Tilson is actively looking to strengthen his squad and has taken on four trialists, including former Boston and Peterborough ‘keeper James McKeown. Meanwhile, on-loan Millwall forward Ashley Grimes will extend his stay to the end of the season.

Tilson added: “We just scored three goals at home, so at the moment I don’t think we’re too bothered about up front. Defensively and in midfield – no doubt about it – that’s our priority.”

Imps fans will be hopeful that there will be developments before Wycombe’s visit, with Tilson having only ten players able to train yesterday.

“It’s a difficult time at the moment. We’ve got a lot of injuries, which is certainly not helping us. We need to get players in as it is, let alone all the injuries. Clark Keltie’s still out, Luke Howell’s feeling a sore hamstring. Ben Hutchinson hasn’t trained and Paul Green hasn’t trained this week either.”

Wycombe have no such worries, however, and are likely to make changes to the side that crashed out of the FA Cup third round to Lincoln’s Cup conquerors Hereford on Tuesday night. Scott Rendell is likely to return, whilst Jon-Paul Pittman and Stuart Beavon are also vying for a place in the starting line-up.

A repeat performance of the Imps’ impressive performance in the reverse fixture at Wycombe’s Adams Park would be a welcome confidence booster as they look to make up the ground lost last month.

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