Holdsworth: ‘If the players win, they can be heroes’

David Holdsworth has issued a rallying call to his side’s players ahead of the second round replay against Mansfield on Wednesday, December 12th.

David Holdsworth's side could face Liverpool in the FA Cup third round, if they can overcome Mansfield Town. Photo: Andrew West

The Imps boss was in good spirits at the pre-match press conference and said: “If they win this game, I can see them becoming instant heroes in Lincoln. To take on and embrace the opportunity of the next round is extraordinary.

“It’s going to be great, I’d love to be playing and everyone will be playing their part tomorrow. The boys have to enjoy the occasion.”

Holdsworth’s Lincoln City side travels to Fieldmill tomorrow following a strong away performance against Dartford on Saturday.

A number of key players were rested including regular number one Paul Farman, with veteran keeper David Preece picking up his debut for the Imps.

Top scorer Jamie Taylor missed the game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the Blue Square Premier League season. His replacement Colin Larkin bagged a hat-trick, giving Holdsworth a rather nice headache ahead of the game tomorrow.

Talking about his selection options, Holdsworth said: “Larkin certainly showed what he is about, not that we didn’t know that, but I felt he took the mantle of the experienced striker and he lead the team brilliantly. He stood out like a beacon on Saturday. He was fantastic and he got a real goalscorer’s hat-trick.”

“Vadaine Oliver had a good game as well and that could be forgotten. He worked as a perfect foil for Larks. I do have two other strikers in Jamie and Colin who are in very good form at the moment.”

With a lucrative tie against Liverpool on the cards in the next round, Holdsworth admits that the tie will be a juicy one for both sets of fans. However, he stressed it will be important for the layers to keep their feet firmly on the ground: “Whatever happens tomorrow night though it has been a great cup run for the side and we shouldn’t lose sight of that.

“Discipline has got to be key tomorrow and, if they do the basics right, we’ll do alright. I mean if you look at the game against Mansfield, Boycey should have done better for the first goal.”

He added: “Overall, it was a really entertaining game last time around and I am sure it may well be tomorrow.

Imps fans have already almost sold out their allocation at Mansfield for the evening fixture. Speaking about the fans’ attendance, Holdsworth said: “I don’t think there’s any danger that the fans won’t turn up tomorrow.

“I was surprised at the number we got on Saturday and, when we were kicking towards the travelling fans at Dartford, seeing them enjoying the goals we were scoring and creating was just fabulous.”

The replay will go to penalties if the scores are level after 90 minutes and extra-time, but the Imps boss hasn’t changed his pre-match plans: “Our preparation is exactly the same as normal; we don’t need to change anything. We’ve practised penalties, we know our penalty takers and we know Mansfield’s penalty takers.

“I don’t want the players to be nervous for the game; I want them to be excited. The last 15 minutes will be just as important as the first 15 minutes, as we know how cup games can go. The bench will be very important.”

Lincoln City’s FA Cup second round replay away at Mansfield Town on Wednesday, December 12th.

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