Lincoln City have been linked with a move for Fleetwood Town defender Cian Bolger according to journalist Pete O’Rourke, which poses interesting questions about the back line.
The Imps already have Jason Shackell and Michael Bostwick at the back, with James Wilson and Scott Wharton both in the squad as well. The Blackburn youngster Wharton will be disappointed not to get more game time, but 35-year old Shackell has bags of experience and is also left footed.
It does mean the Imps will look very heavy in the centre of defence, which poses the question which set up they’re likely to carry forward? Is there going to be a change in position for a current key player, or will they alter the formation to include the Fleetwood man?
Maybe there’s a surprise outgoing on the cards, but if Bolger does come in and nobody else goes, we think Danny Cowley has three options, as you can see below.
The Imps could be looking to play three at the back, in a 5-4-1 formation. It could fluidly move to something akin to a 3-5-2, as the wide defenders move forward then McCartan would become an attacker rather than the deep-lying support striker.
This is similar to the formation with which they started the season at Northampton and would see a solid defensive unit with an emphasis on not conceding goals. Maybe, with an advantage in the bag, Cowley sees not losing as important as winning.
A much more adventurous take on the previous formation, this would retain the three centre backs, but put a lot of pressure on Frecklington in the midfield. He’d need to be joined be one of the centre halves during the attack, but it looks very defensive.
Also, the Imps have several fine central midfielder, Frecklington is joined by Michael O’Connor, Ellis Chapman and Tom Pett. It’s surely unlikely that they’ll be left out during the crucial run in.
It’s the current Imps’ set up and the most likely one they’ll roll with. the issue here is keeping Bostwick in the team. Shackell will play left side of defence, whilst Bolger will go on the right. Bostwick played central midfield last season and is more than capable of doing the same again.
It does once again leave out a lot of quality midfield players though, posing the sort of selection headache a manager likes to have.