No quick fix for inconsistent Lincoln City as Michael Appleton issues warning
The last two games have been a microcosm of Lincoln City’s season so far – one step forward, one step back.
In the victory at Burton Albion, the Imps showed their exciting potential and offensive verve coupled with much-needed resilience at the end of the game.
Tuesday at Morecambe was a different story with decent approach play that all too often leaves the void. The lack of chances created was a real concern, as was the sluggish reaction to the delay at the start of the second half.
The inconsistency is obvious but not entirely surprising given the inexperience on the side. It is not an easy solution either.
Michael Appleton knows this, but also doesn’t want to make a habit of making excuses for poor results.
“It’s not easy to say ‘okay, we need consistency’. The reality is a lot of players are going through this for the first time, ”Appleton said after Tuesday’s loss.
“It takes time sometimes, but it gets to a point where you can’t keep making excuses for people.
“Whether they’re 17, 27, 35, if you’re on the team make the decisions, if you’re not you’re going to end up outside the team.
“Until we can assign the group – and we can’t really affect the group until January; it appears to be the case – we need to make sure we keep our heads above water while we wait and turn good performance into results.
“Because in the first half [at Morecambe], the performance was pretty good, it was good, we looked more comfortable, like the side that was going to take the lead. It just wasn’t enough in the second half.
Last season, a poor performance could be masked by a moment of brilliance from Brennan Johnson or Morgan Rogers, both now playing in the Championship.
The Imps don’t have that X-factor player and Appleton admits his team need to find “different ways” to win games this season.
Speaking ahead of Morecambe’s game, he admitted: “The starting XI we had [last season] was right up there because of the loans we had. We had a few special loans who are now league players and will end up being Premier League players.
“The drop is slightly less, but we probably don’t have the stardust we had last year. We don’t have Morgan Rogers or Brennan Johnson who could win games on their own for us.
“So we have to find another way to win games this year. When we have injuries and suspensions, that’s when you have to deal with the expectations.