Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton has stated to Lincolnshire Live that he reckons his side are due to dish out a ‘hiding’ sooner or later as the Imps prepare to take on Oxford United next Friday.
The League One club currently sit fourth in the standings with 10 games left to play and will be seeking to build on Saturday’s away draw at fellow play-off hopefuls Sunderland when they travel to the Kassam Stadium later this week.
A win away from home could see the Sincil Bank outfit close the gap on the top two, whilst defeat could damage their hopes of automatic promotion.
Speaking ahead of the game, Appleton was keen to emphasise that he wants his side to continue their momentum on from the weekend:
“It will come, someone is going to get a hiding, I can feel it.
“I’m just delighted with the courage we showed in the second half. We should have won it, but that’s what happens. You need those little stepping stones to create the momentum to get going again.
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“Hopefully Saturday will give us a bit of momentum going into the Oxford game.”
The last time the two play-off hopefuls met was back in September of last year, as the Imps ran out 2-0 winners on home turf thanks to goals from Anthony Scully and Adam Jackson before Robert Atkinson was sent off in stoppage time for the visitors.
Lincoln are still well in the race for the automatic spots and if their performance against Sunderland is anything to go by, the best is yet to come from the Imps.
Oxford will prove to be a tough test on Friday as they are still in with a shot of making the play-offs, however this game won’t be the determining factor in how the club finishes the season.
Games against the likes of league strugglers Bristol Rovers, Burton Albion and AFC Wimbledon offer up much easier tasks on paper and it will be these games that Lincoln will be judged on.
Going on a winning run in these last 10 games could prove to be the difference between going up automatically or via the play-offs.
League One has been so unpredictable this term and for that reason I think we will see a few more twists and turns along the way before the season is out.