Holdsworth expecting tough Tamworth trophy test

– Scott Tysoe contributed to this report.

Lincoln City manager, David Holdsworth is fully prepared to lead his side into a battle on Saturday as the Imps take on fellow Blue Square Premier side, Tamworth in the FA Trophy First Round.

Lincoln City take on Tamworth in the FA Trophy First Round on Saturday, November 24th. Photo: Tom Larken.

Holdsworth leads his team to Tamworth’s Lamb Ground on the back of last Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Hereford – meaning that Lincoln’s unbeaten run has now stretched to ten games.

City manager Holdsworth, however, knows his club will have to work hard in order to keep that run going.

Holdsworth said: “It will be a tough game. They have had a little difficult run. I know [Tamworth manager] Marcus Law is a genuine guy and he will certainly make it hard for us.

He continued: “We lost to them earlier in the season to a very early goal. We lost concentration and then we lost Gary Mills to a heated handbag debate with their right back.

“They are a tough outfit and going into it won’t be easy, but we look forward to it. We want to continue working hard. It’s a cup game, so we will enter it in the right spirit and do as best we can.”

Tamworth have failed to register a win since October. When asked if Tamworth may welcome a break from the league, Holdsworth replied: “It’s a fresh dimension for them and they must be respected.

“They have some good players and we must give them respect, but it’s a cup game and I’m sure our boys want to continue to their high standards. There is a freshness about our squad at the minute. We are looking forward to it.”

With City’s big FA Cup tie at home to Mansfield the week after, Holdsworth was keen to stress that the upcoming FA Trophy tie is just as important to him as it is to the club. He said: “I don’t like losing. In the context of where we are, the bigger picture is the FA Cup. I think it would be foolish to take it lightly, but I’m not underestimating.

“I don’t want to go to Tamworth and lose, certainly the players don’t. We’ll be contesting it as well as we can do with the circumstances we find ourselves in.”

The circumstances he speaks of are those that may see a squad reshuffle. City have named an unchanged starting line-up in each of their last four matches but, with Dan Gray suspended and Jamie Taylor, Jake Sheridan and Andrew Boyce all one yellow card away from suspensions of their own, Holdsworth is considering other options.

He stated: “You can’t ask players to go into a game and ask them not to make challenges. One because it won’t be doing the fans a justice and it certainly won’t be doing me a justice, and they certainly won’t be doing themselves any favours.

“It’s a fine balance and it’s one that I’ll have to really consider over the next few days but certainly I don’t have a big squad and some might have to play.”

One player who definitely won’t feature from the start is the Imps’ new signing, Adam Boyd. The former Hartlepool striker signed a short term deal last week but Holdsworth seemed certain he won’t be picking him in his starting eleven.

He said: “He’s not one-hundred per cent fit yet. He played in a friendly behind closed doors the other day and it was his first probably ninety minutes for about five or six weeks. He may well be involved. I’m going to find out how he is in the next twenty-four hours to see how he comes through a training session after having his first game. ”

Lincoln City’s trip to Tamworth takes place on Saturday, November 24th.

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