At Least One Missing Imp Will Return This Weekend

When the team was announced at the weekend, it once again contained omissions that we hadn’t been expecting.

It’s no surprise Michael keeps his cards close to his chest in terms of injuries; I’d had a heads up that TJ might miss out against Rotherham, the cancelled game, so half expected him to be absent on Saturday. However, Chris Maguire? Josh Griffiths? their absence was a surprise. I even tweeted it would be nice to hear a team selection and be wondering who might play, rather than fearing who won’t.

In fact, this weekend we were missing ten potential first-team players, including five centre backs, our club captain, and a player currently in FIFA 22’s Team of the Week. Josh Griffiths, TJ Eyoma, Joe Walsh, Adam Jackson, Lewis Montsma, Sean Roughan, Liam Bridcutt, Tom Hopper, Freddie Draper and Chris Maguire all missed out, and yet we still managed to beat a promotion-hunting Plymouth side 2-1. That’s three wins from four, all against top ten teams, two of which were away from home. Imagine what we might have achieved with everyone fit if we can win games with half the squad out.

Credit Graham Burrell

There is some good news; at least one of our first team players will be back this week against Burton. Funnily enough, Josh Griffiths missing out handed a first Football League start to Sam long, and the 19-year-old did well. He’s likely to head out on loan now, buoyed by his first outing in the league, as Josh returns to action.

“Josh will be ready for Saturday,” Michael Appleton told Lincolnshire Live today. “It [the shoulder issue] has never been as bad as we potentially feared. There was something in the scan and West Brom had to be comfortable to let him play, because he’s their player. If he’d been our player, he would have played on Saturday. But once you scan someone and he’s not your player, the decision is out of your hands.”

Whilst Sam had a solid debut, there’s no doubt Josh is a key part of our team, and it will be great to get him back in the squad. We got a glimpse of Lincoln’s future this weekend with Sam doing well, but we’re back watching West Brom’s future when the Brewers come to town, in a challenging game for the Imps. Hopefully, a second home clean sheet of the season is in order for a fresh and rejuvenated Josh.