Cowley recognises magnitude of derby day fixture

Manager Danny Cowley admits he recognises the magnitude of the game as his Lincoln City side travel to local rivals Grimsby Town on Saturday.

The Imps boss will be taking charge of his side against their biggest rivals for the first time in Saturday’s 1pm kick off.

Cowley said a good result would help repay the fans for their support so far this season. He said: “We understand the responsibility that we carry on Saturday.

Imps boss Danny Cowley wants his side to repay the fans with a win at Grimsby on Saturday

“We know what it means to the people of Lincoln. The people of Lincoln have been great to us so we really want to repay them with a good performance and a positive result.

“The local derbies are always for the supporters. We were overwhelmed by the support on Tuesday night. Where else would a fourth tier team, who have just lost 4-1 to their other local rivals, get support like we did?

“We’re very aware that the best way to start paying our supporters back is by getting a good result on Saturday.”

In such local derbies, tempers can often boil over but Cowley wants his side to keep clear heads during the 90 minutes.

He says much of that is down to the personality of each player, rather than the experience of having been through such situations before.

“It’s about thinking clearly under pressure. It’s really important that we stay calm and stay in control of our emotions so that we can execute our techniques properly and make the right decisions at the right times.”

The two sides sit closely in mid-table heading into the game, with Lincoln just one place above the Mariners in the League Two table. Cowley thinks that should make for a closely fought contest.

“The stats and the league table would suggest that there’s not much between the two teams. We’re looking forward to pitting our wits against them, we’re certainly looking forward to going back to Blundell Park. We’ve had some enjoyable experiences there in the past with Braintree.

“We’re clear on their gameplan and their styles of play. We’re clear on where their strengths lie. We want to try and deal with those strengths while trying to exploit the areas where we feel we can have success.”

One player who does know the fixture well, though, is Nathan Arnold. Formerly of Grimsby, the winger now wears the red and white of Lincoln and could be back in contention for the game after injury.

“He trained today and we’re hopeful that he will be available on Saturday.

“It’ll be a great occasion for Nathan. He knows his way around Blundell Park and he’s desperate to play. He’s been really focused on playing this week.

“We wrapped him up in cotton wool on Tuesday. We could have used him in the squad on Tuesday but we wanted to be sure. We’re certainly confident that he’ll be available Saturday.

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