Interim head coach Tom Shaw

Lincoln City interim head coach Tom Shaw spoke after his side lost their unbeaten run, with a 2-0 loss to of high-flying Oxford United at the LNER Stadium.

He said: “It’s a disappointing night at the end of a very good run.” Adding that: “At the end of a really tough run of games, a period that’s had a lot of emotion and a lot of travel, I think we just struggled to get to our physical and mental best.”

The interim head coach had picked up two wins and a draw before the visit of Oxford. He said: “Tonight was one where we maybe needed a plan B, or a few different ideas.”

He said that his side had a lot of learning to do after their lost to an Oxford side who came into the game without a win in their last three.

Shaw said: “We went a little bit passive, so even when we managed to play through or around their pressure, we just didn’t get really aggressive with the ball.”

Lincoln City 0-2 Oxford United
It wasn’t a treat for Lincoln City on Halloween.

The Imps employed long-balls throughout the game, opting for a more direct style. Speaking to LincSport, Shaw said: “We didn’t search [long-balls] enough in the first 60 minutes. Our game plan in the end was to try and do that. I think it’s about having different ways to disrupt the opposition.”

He added: “Sometimes you have to go a bit bigger, over the top. We’ll go away and take our learning, we’ve not had loads of training time.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Shaw said: “We’ll go away frustrated that we’ve not given the game we were hoping for.”

The first Oxford goal came from a front-post header, as Ciaron Brown nodded a corner in at the near-post. Shaw said: “We’re disappointed on that. We don’t concede many goals, so it was disappointing that it was two soft goals tonight.”

The second goal was a mistake from goalkeeper Lukas Jensen. The Dane has had an impressive start to life as an Imps, after joining from Accrington Stanley in the summer, but parried a Stan Mills cross into his own net last night. “He’ll be disappointed because his standards are so high,” Shaw said.

Injury Update

Ted Bishop was missing from the squad on Tuesday night. Speaking to LincSport, Tom Shaw confirmed that: “He wasn’t available for this evening. His injury doesn’t sound too bad at all, so we’re hoping he’ll be available for the cup games.”

When asked by BBC Radio Lincolnshire about Sean Roughan, who came off after a suspected injury in the second-half, Shaw said: “We’re hoping it won’t be too bad, he just twisted his ankle on his landing. We wanted to get Dylan Duffy on to try and be a bit more progressive…so there was a tactical decision as well.”

A full debut and a return

Jake Vale made his first start in a Lincoln shirt on Tuesday. Shaw seemed to indicate that getting him settled was a work-in-progress. He said: “There’s a lot of information for Jake without the ball, with how we’ve set up.” Adding: “He’s got a burst of pace, so we just need to find the best way to feed that.”

Winger Danny Mandroiu returned to the team, after his three-match ban. Shaw assessed his performance post-match. “He linked it nicely and had a few moments. He’s always looking on the horizon to try and create something on the top-line. I thought his work ethic was good and he did his responsibilities without the ball very well.”

Lincoln City will be hoping to return to winning ways on Saturday, as they welcome Morecambe to the LNER Stadium in the First Round of the FA Cup.