Simpson anticipating tough game

Written by Jon Ashby

Lincoln City manager Gary Simpson has stressed that Saturday’s opponents Welling will pose a stern test for his Imps side, whilst concerns over recent form were brushed to one side.

Gary Simpson was in positive spirits at today's press conference. Photo: Paul Battison
Gary Simpson anticipates a struggle on Saturday. Photo: Paul Battison

“Me and Grant [Brown] went to watch Welling play Cambridge the other night, and they were unlucky not to win,” said Simpson in Thursday’s press conference.

“They’re a good team who’ve had a few injuries over the last few weeks, including two of their best players, however by all accounts they’re back this weekend.”

Simpson continued: “They’ve got off to a decent start and I can fully understand why. They try to play but they’ve got some power and strength up top and they can cause you a problem. I’d like to play the Welling side which played Halifax last week based on the report we had back, but I’m sure as they’re at home and have their players back, it’ll be a tough game.”

Regarding the Imps’ recent poor form, Simpson has pointed towards a tough run of fixtures, while bemoaning a lack of luck.

“Credit to the players, I don’t think we’ve been out of a game this season. There have been games against teams that were on a good spell. We played Barnet when they were second, Kidderminster when they were second, Cambridge when they were top, Nuneaton when they were second. We’ve played all these teams when they’ve been in their good spells, and we’ve acquitted ourselves well.”

Simpson continued: “We’ve not picked the points up that we would’ve liked, but we’ve certainly not been second best. We’re not that far away, but we know that we need to pick some wins up.”

On the subject of team news, centre back Nat Brown and top scorer Ben Tomlinson look set to recover from illness, however striker Conner Robinson will miss out following his early substitution in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay against Worcester City.

“Conner is badly bruised,” said Simpson. “It’s a bad tackle, and the kid should have been sent off, regardless of whether it was only two minutes in. The kid is gutted because he’s been out on loan for a month, he’s got some football, this was his opportunity and it’s knocked him back.”

Danny Rowe meanwhile continues his recovery from an ankle injury, while midfielder Todd Jordan is a doubt due to concerns over a developing hernia.

Joining Simpson in Thursday’s press conference were forward Bohan Dixon and new signing Marlon Jackson, with the former quick to praise defender Sean Newton and striker Ben Tomlinson following his goal versus Worcester on Tuesday night.

“I’ve been ordered to get into the box every chance I can,” said Dixon. “I know Sean gets great whip on his crosses, I got in the box, it came straight to my foot and fortunately I put it in the back of the net.”

“I think his [Tomlinson’s] work rate rubs off on everyone. He’s the first to close down every ball and it gives everyone else energy. He’s got a massive engine, and gives it 100% all the time.”

Bury loanee Jackson meanwhile was quick to point towards Simpson as a major factor in his decision to join the club, while praising the quality within the Lincoln ranks.

“I know he [Simpson] was interested in me in the summer, and he’s obviously kept a close eye on me. When the opportunity came for me to come here, it was easy for me as I knew he liked what I can do.”

Jackson continued: “Our squad is a good squad. We train hard, there are a lot of good players here and there’s a lot of quality in the team.”

Lincoln face Welling at Park View Road on Saturday 2nd November.

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