Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts has told his club website that we’re a ‘good team with good momentum’, despite our one win in nine.
The former Wrexham boss, who played at Swindon Town with Harry Toffolo, is under no illusions that our form isn’t entirely reflective of our performances. Aside from the Oxford debacle, the Imps have been competitive in every fixture since our previous manager departed, which is perhaps where Ricketts gets his momentum comment from.
“They are a good team with good momentum,” he said.
“They’ve had a good three or four successful years and they carry that through into the season. A few different results in and around the time that the Cowley’s left, getting beat at home by Oxford, but that was really uncharacteristic, and they’ve bounced back since then and they beat Sunderland 2-0 at home. They’re a good side, especially at home and really hard to play against.”
He’s not wrong. Whilst we perhaps lament the run of form we’ve been on, it’s pertinent to point out we’ve only conceded goals from open play on one occasion at home this season; against Oxford. The only other goal scored against us in League One was Jonson Clarke-Harris’ penalty following Tom Nichols dive. One would hope Shrewsbury won’t have to resort to such tactics to get one over on us.
The game is being played on Friday night rather than Saturday, which some believe is at the request of our previous management team giving us an extra day to recover for the long trip to Portsmouth next week. With us having not played in midweek and Shrewsbury having a free weekend last Saturday, it’s a situation that Ricketts feels is mutually beneficial.
“It certainly doesn’t do any harm, an extra 25 hours recovery period going into the Gillingham game will help us. I think it’s something Lincoln do they like to play Friday nights for that reason really.
“Friday night games usually add a bit more atmosphere too so it should be a good game and a real tough place to go.”
The squad like a night match under the lights. In League Two last season we played Yeovil, Oldham, Bury, Carlisle and Exeter at the Bank, drawing two and winning three. The year before we played Barnet, Newport, Cheltenham and Wycombe in the league in midweek, winning three and drawing one.
In addition, cup matches against Oldham and Everton stand out as great examples of the evening fixture generating the sort of atmosphere players thrive upon, as well as those on the EFL Trophy run of 2017/18.
In fact, the last time Lincoln City lost a midweek home match in the league was against Altrincham on November 4th 2014. It was the first match of Chris Moyes and Grant Brown’s stint as caretakers after Gary Simpson was put on gardening leave and a whopping 1,953 were there. I wasn’t, I was still living in Cambridge at the time.