24-year-old stopper Alex Palmer has had an interesting start to his Lincoln Cty life, making a couple of saves on successive Saturdays that could be described as match-winning.
There is no doubt his stop against MK Dons, with the score at 2-1, earned us all three points rather than one, and heading into the season with a behemoth between the sticks is certainly positive for the club, especially coupled with Ethan Ross’ promise and the steady emergence of youngster Sam Long.
Whilst Michael Appleton plays the long game in terms of the squad, the short term looks very exciting with Liverpool heading to Sincil Bank this week. The reigning European Champions and 2019 Champions League winners are one of the biggest names in football, and the on-loan West Brom keeper admits that it holds a little personal triumph for him, as the third member of the squad to confess to being a Liverpool fan, of sorts.
“I was a Liverpool fan as a kid as well,” he said, as we discussed Max Melbourne (grab tomorrow’s programme here to find out more) and James Jones who have both admitted to being fans. “I’ll always have a soft spot for Liverpool, but when you grow up and start playing for a club, you start taking an interest in the first team, which I did with West Brom. Liverpool is definitely one of my teams though.”
Obviously, as a kid, a player has heroes and watching Liverpool when he was younger he singles out one of their stars as an influence, although he doesn’t exclusively model himself on any one stopper.
“Jerzy Dudek was at Liverpool as I grew up and what he did in the Champions League final was impressive. Joe (Hart) and Ben (Foster) were two I looked up to though, but there was so many I wanted to take bits from. Even now, with Edison and Allison, I try to take bits away from them and improve my game.”
Alex will have to be right on top of his game if the Imps are to triumph tomorrow night, but with the current mood in the camp, he believes that we can take the game to our illustrious visitors, even though there are no illusions around the size of the task.
“It’s a positive mood around the squad. The results we’ve had have been really good and we’re going into the game full of confidence knowing, if we play well, we can take the game to them.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be a difficult game, but these are the ones you look forward too, the ones you want when you watch the draws being made. You want the biggest teams and we’ve got one of the biggest teams in the world coming to our place.”
Whilst it might seem daunting, for an exciting collection of young players purveying a new and fluent brand of football, a chance to pit their wits against one of the world’s best is nothing short of exciting but, as Alex finishes with, one thing could have made it so much btter. Fans.
“It’s definitely exciting and around the group its one everyone is looking forward too. It’s just such a shame that fans aren’t in the ground, I think it would be an unbelievable atmosphere in the ground.”
The game kicks off tomorrow night at 7.45pm, live on Sky, but your coverage begins at 6.15pm with an exclusive Matchday Live programme with Sam Ashoo on the club’s social media channels.