Sports: Reaction: Danny Cowley positive despite defeat for Lincoln City

Sports: Reaction: Danny Cowley positive despite defeat for Lincoln City

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Danny Cowley revealed he remains upbeat despite seeing his Lincoln City side slip to a first reverse of pre-season.

The Imps went down 3-1 to Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday and were given their first real test of the summer in the process.

Boss Cowley, however, was really pleased with the workout.

“I certainly enjoyed it much more than the three previous wins we have had so far,” he explained.

“In games like this the players feel the heat and we found ourselves tested physically, tactically and mentally. That’s much more enjoyable than having it all our own way like we have in the early part of pre-season.

“You always learn against good teams. I’d rather learn from other people’s mistakes from our own, but it was great for us today. We will be better both individually and collectively from this experience.”

City fell behind to Jordan Rhodes’ first minute opener and were pegged back further midway through the first half.

A bizarre Neal Eardley own goal made matters worse on the hour before City found their groove and grabbed a consolation through Jordan Adebayo-Smith amongst other decent chances.

“When you’re playing against a quality team like Sheffield Wednesday you can’t give them the start we did and ourselves an even bigger mountain to climb,” said Cowley.

“They asked a lot of questions of us and it was a real good test and we probably needed to take more of our chances if we were going to compete with what is a Championship side.

“It’s always about the learning for us though and we learn much more from playing against the top teams so we’ll take a lot from today.

“Credit to the players that came on for us though because I thought we finished the game strongly.”

 

Four trialists started the game on the bench for the Imps, three of whom came on midway through the second half and gave Cowley food for thought in terms of their futures at the club.

With very little competition for Neal Eardley and Harry Toffolo among City’s ranks at present, it comes as no surprise that all three play at the back.

“I thought the two full backs did fine when they came on,” he said.

“They’re both athletic boys who come from top clubs with top development setups. We’ve enjoyed having them with us and we now have some decisions to make.”

The Imps face their first three games of the new season without the suspended Jason Shackell, who has to complete a six game ban, whilst his defensive partner Michael Bostwick wasn’t risked against the Owls having picked up a knock. It was therefore beneficial that the third of those trialists plays in that position.

“We had another trialist playing left centre half and again he’s from a top club and also did well – as he has done thus far,” added Cowley.

“We’ll have to look and see what we can do financially.

“We know we need to get to a squad of 22 and at the same time we know that we are short in certain areas, but funds are really tight.”

Cowley revealed he is also still keen to add another front man to provide competition to John Akinde and Matt Rhead.

The Imps are certainly light in numbers up top too, and only have Academy graduate Jordan Adebayo-Smith in addition to the big men.

“Number nine is the most expensive position on the pitch and we know that we haven’t quite got the finances, so we’ve got to try and be clever about how we use that position,” he explained.

“We’ll try to use the loan market wisely and we’d like someone who gives us something different to what we already have. Whether we can get to that only time will tell.

“We’re in long queues in terms of the players we would like and I suppose we’re at the back of those queues because we can’t blow the parent clubs away with finance. What we can do though is try to encourage those players and hope that they would like to come here – that might push us further up the chain.

“We have some good relationships with other clubs who respect that we provide players with a good environment and culture for them to develop. We hope that these clubs take a long term view and send players to us and if they do we will look after them the very best we can.”

The Imps now head off to a training camp in Spain where they will also face another Championship club in Reading.

“It’ll be another good week in our preparations,” enthused Cowley.

“We have had two really high volume weeks, which has seen us get over 70K (running distance) from the boys within 16 days. That’s an awfully high load, but now they’re in a position for us to now look at things like the counter attack and counter press in games.

“What we like to do next is shorten the numbers in training games, which in turn gives us a higher turnover of actions per minute, which the players are ready for. The aim now is to sharpen the tools.

“Reading comes at the back end of our trip, which will be another difficult game.”



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