Ahead of Saturday, March 23rd’s relegation clash with Telford, Lincoln City manager Gary Simpson has stressed the importance of picking up enough points in the final stretch of the season in order to give the Imps a fighting chance of survival.
He said: “It’s still in our hands. There have been some freaky results with clubs that are fighting. There are eight games left and we just need to pick up as many points as we can. If we can get enough points on the board, other teams around us still need to play each other and, on paper, some teams look like they’ve got tougher run ins than us.”
Telford, Lincoln’s opponents in the clash, are managerless, rooted to the foot of the table, and without a win in their previous 26 league matches, a run which stretches back to October 9th, 2012.
However, Simpson has no intention of underestimating them: “I watched them at Gateshead; they drew 0-0 but could have pinched it. One thing I did see from them was that they hadn’t chucked in the towel. They were working hard, they’re having a go at staying up and everybody’s playing for their futures.”
With just four goals scored in their last seven games, it is clear what the primary problem has been for Lincoln of late, and Simpson was once again keen to emphasise the need for increased fire power in front of goal.
He said: “I’ve tried to strengthen at the back a bit, which I think we’ve done, but we need to bolster the attack. Strikers who might get you a goal, or are half-decent, clubs don’t want to let them go.”
He continued: “The market is cut down no end with people being on season long loans and people being paid up, meaning that they can’t play for us. The chairman has been very supportive and has said there’s money available if we can find someone, but it’s like being in the sales after they’ve been on a week. You walk in the shop with money in your pocket and there’s nothing to buy.
“We tried to get a goalscorer in, and we might’ve had a chance of getting him, but we got a phone call yesterday saying he’s had a scan and needs a hernia operation so we can’t have him. We’re still trying, we’ve got a week to go until the transfer window closes, so we’ll try to get someone in.”
Aside from Vadaine Oliver, who is set to serve the final match of his suspension tomorrow, and Conner Robinson, who Simpson stated is set to be recalled from his loan spell at Worksop Town , Simpson has a full squad to choose from tomorrow.
He explained: “It is all hands to the pump to get out of this situation. We’re not that far away, we just need to improve in the final third. I want a bit of luck, but I believe you create your own luck and the harder you work the luckier you get.”
Lincoln City take on AFC Telford on Saturday, March 23rd 2013 at the 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium.