‘We’d love some success of our own’ – Neal Eardley reflects on Imps’ FA Cup legacy – EXCLUSIVE

Courtesy of Graham Burrell

Neal Eardley has revealed that the current crop of Lincoln City players would love some success of their own in the FA Cup, to add to that already achieved by their predecessors.

Only three players who were part of the 2016/17 cup run are still with the club, Matt Rhead and Sam Habergham. Harry Anderson was around the squad on loan, but only played against Altrincham and Oldham as we reached the quarter-final stage after knocking out Burnley, Brighton, Ipswich, Oldham, Altrincham and Guiseley. 

The current squad are preparing to face Northampton Town this weekend, with the legacy of the previous run very evident. the new training ground, in part funded by that historic run, was unveiled to the media yesterday and that serves as a lasting reminder of the ripples caused by the sensational set of results.

Right back Neal Eardley wasn’t part of the Lincoln squad that made history, but he remembers watching the matches on TV and admiring the achievements the side made.

“Obviously, I wasn’t at Lincoln at the time but I watched the Ipswich replay at Sincil Bank in the replay. I saw the Brighton game on Match of the Day too, I don’t think I watched the Arsenal one to be honest! I remember watching a couple of the games on the run though and you only had to see them to understand how important it was to the players, fans and everyone at the club.”

Much like Neal, I haven’t watched the Arsenal one on television either, can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would watch us getting beaten 5-0. 

Neal added that the previous run adds a little something to this weekend’s game for the players looking to continue the upward trajectory that the cup run started two years ago.

“I think Lincoln have now got the FA Cup history of the recent run, that adds a little bit of something for the current side. We’d love to have some additional success of our own to add to the brilliant achievements of the 2016/17 side.”

Northampton will be a tough prospect, they’re a side with six wins in seven and the Imps will need a strong squad out if we’re going to get on the right side of a result and give ourselves a chance at a run. One player who hasn’t featured recently is Neal, last season’s Player of the Season. he revealed he’s not happy at missing games, but is also pragmatic about injuries in football.

“I’ve been disappointed to be get injured recently but I suppose it is part and parcel of the game. Lads pick up injuries, but I’d like to think now I’m on the other side of it and edging closer to being back out on the grass which I’m looking forward too.”

Us too Neal. Us too.

Neal was speaking to me as part of my usual programme piece. The full interview can be found in the match day magazine this weekend, where Neal discusses his FA Cup highs and lows, as well as revealing who he would have liked in the first round proper.