There has been a lot of things that have been strikingly different this season, from being top of the league to winning cup games, from financial security to massive queues at the ground day after day. It has been a remarkable nine months or so, and I imagine a couple of baby boys (or girls) born around Lincoln in the next nine months may be named Nicky or Danny.
The success on the field is underpinning all of these unique circumstances, the product being offered is significantly better than it has been in previous years. We’re playing good football, we’re scoring goals and crucially we’re keeping our best players fit. The latter statement cannot be under estimated, one of the secrets to our success has been (bar one or two) remaining injury free coming out of the winter months.
I had a conversation with a friend tonight about injuries, and he pointed out to me that being injured isn’t always about luck. Some injuries are, Lee Beevers was simply unlucky, but the key to remaining relatively injury free is the right approach to the game and the right recovery after games. Sports science is right at the front of Danny and Nicky’s blueprint for success, and we’re seeing the benefit.
Take players such as Alex Woodyard and Sam Habergham. These guys are used to the Cowley method, they’re fit and raring to go each and every game. I can’t help but feel they’ve benefitted from working with the brothers for a longer period of time. As the season wears on our players are not dropping like flies as expected, but they look fit and sharp every game. The bench even seems to remain strong, you never hear of a player picking up an injury in training.
There is a skill to avoiding certain types of injury, and this season we have had no significant patterns emerge. The knocks are few and far between, and more often than not it is a heavy tackle visible to all in the ground rather than a strain or a twist. That isn’t down to luck, it is down to correct player management. It is down to proper recovery programmes, and a firm understanding of how the human body works. We know the players that will be missing because more often than not we’ve seen them get injured on the field.
It may seem a small point and it may go relatively unnoticed as we continue to break new ground in every other aspect of the football club. Ultimately though this success will be maintained by getting the results on the pitch, and that is where we are really making strides.