Sam Wilkinson wants Lincoln United to finish as high as they can in the forthcoming season.

Wilkinson returned to Ashby Avenue in March following the departure of previous manager Steve Housham.

However, his second spell in charge of the Whites currently stands at just one competitive game – which ended in a  2-0 defeat to Leek Town – after the Coronavirus crisis ended the Northern Premier League south east division prematurely.

Ashby Avenue. Photo: LincSport/ Twitter

That game, according to Wilkinson, has set the foundations for how he wants his side to play in the forthcoming season.

He said: “With us playing Leek, who were top of the league at the time, we decided to really work on our shape in training on the previous Thursday, while still also trying to have a goal threat. We sort of just about got it right, and I think if we didn’t concede early then I think the game plan probably would have won.

“We are looking to continue that sort of stability and shape defensively but play a little bit different this year,” he continued to add. “We’ve got quite a lot of young lads and a lot of pace in the team, so we are going to be similar; we are going to be hard to beat, but at home, we want to be a bit more attacking and try to go at teams and go forward a bit more than what we did on that day.”

With the league season set to begin on September 19, the Whites have already got their pre-season preparations underway. They are undefeated so far, having won both games without conceding a goal.

Despite the complications surrounding social distancing, the Lincoln boss believes pre-season could not have got off to a better start.

“Pre-season has gone really well, to be honest,” the Whites boss said.

“Obviously we didn’t know what sort of date we could start properly and we had to do three sessions with the social distancing for groups of up to six. It was a little bit awkward and difficult to get used to really for everyone, but once we were allowed to get back together properly and train altogether, it’s gone really well.

“The lads have come back in good shape. In all fairness, it’s probably the best shape most teams have come back in this year, because obviously, with the virus most of the lads have been on furlough and not had a lot to do!”

After a period of rebuilding and change following the financial turmoil that overshadowed the second half of last, Wilkinson is remaining realistic about United’s chances in the forthcoming season.

He said: “From our point of view, we want to finish as high as we can. You know, we are not daft, budget-wise we would probably be bottom five, but we want to be a bit better than that. Our plan is to try and be in and around mid-table by Christmas time and then look build on that.”