As you know by now, the Imps don’t have a game this weekend. The sad plight of Bury means we’re without a game, spared the trip to Gigg Lane where last season families were faced with hooligan elements causing trouble.
The situation between ourselves and Tranmere won’t change either; their game with Fleetwood has been called off already because of the weather. That means whatever happens, the picture of safety will look exactly the same after the weekend as it does right now. I know there are those of you looking at Shrewsbury, MK Dons, Wimbledon and Rochdale, but I am almost exclusively looking at Tranmere and us. Finish above them and whatever anyone else does, we’re League One next season.
Last time we had a break courtesy of Bury, it changed our season. We lost to Gillingham in the league, a miserable afternoon which effectively ended a number of Imps’ careers, then lost to Ipswich in the cup. Morale was low, the side looked to have no luck and the respite was as much a relief as it was anything. We came back with a trip to Burton, won 2-0 and won six of the next ten games. Those eighteen points are the reason we are where we are right now.
That run ended with a trip to Ipswich and the transfer window kicking in. Since then, we’ve looked a shadow of that team that took 18 points. In patches, the football is good. However, mistakes at the back coupled with some below-average performances have really undermined the good work MA put in on the training ground back in November.
That’s why I have high hopes for Burton at home next weekend. I can’t help but feel the club are moving in the right direction, and with an accomplished coach on the training ground that will surely see us develop. last time out, MA told us the big benefit was getting time with his players to implement ideas and that is the case again. Some of the new lads won’t have had much respite from match preparation, but this weekend off gives them time not only to recover from knocks and strains but to get on method once more.
Two wins in the next two games would, in my opinion, make us 100% safe. Four points might even do it, but the players must come out all guns blazing. One or two are surely going to have a lot to do in the next two weeks as well; maybe a few of the new signings will benefit from the time on the training ground more than others.
Here are three improvements I’d love to see come out of the Imps’ enforced break.