Exclusive: Cowley on planning for the end, dealing with Boro and a fan favourite


Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has underlined consistency as the key if they are to maintain their promotion push.

The Imps were held to a stalemate with Northampton Town last weekend, meaning they have now drawn three straight games. And with other teams around them winning, it puts pressure on them as league leaders.

Cowley on finishing strong

The goal is clear for Cowley and his team, and that is to be playing League One football next season. Which will be no easy task, in a league that gets more competitive by the week.

And Danny believes that his original aim of two points per game still stands, with the business end coming fast.

On staying top, Cowley said:

“It’s been a really tough journey to this point. We respect the fact that it’s going to get tougher. We want to be consistent, for us, it’s always about trying to be relentlessly consistent.

“We have to refuse to lose attitude. We’ve only lost one in 15 now, which is a proud record. And we want to try and go unbeaten for the rest of the season. That is the challenge, and I think for our group, that can be easier than saying this is a must-win game.

“I think two points a game will probably be enough to win the league. Unless someone has a really strong run to the finish. And that’s what we’re aiming to do, but we know it’s not always easy.

“It’s been a really enjoyable journey so far. We’ve just got to stay really committed and focused to get the job done.”

The main aim of automatic promotion remains highly likely for the Imps. As the midweek results mean that Lincoln are now eight points clear of fourth, with a game in hand.

Cowley on Stevenage

This Saturday sees Lincoln welcome play-off chasing Stevenage to Sincil Bank. A side who will be looking to recover from defeat to Tranmere last weekend.

The Boro have suffered very up and down form of late, having won five and lost five of their last ten games. And Cowley knows that they will be looking to bounce back once again when they come up against his side.

On Saturday’s opponents, he said:

“I think they’re a fiercely competitive team, really aggressive team. I know Deano well, he’s a hard-working manager, front foot manager. I know how hard he works, and his teams normally follow suit.

“We’re respectful of Stevenage, we’re clear on the way they play and the strengths they have. But also some areas that we think we can exploit.

“They’re a real threat from crosses, as 52 per cent of their goals have been from headers. So we’ve got to be aware of that. But we’ve had a good week, so we’ll be ready to go on Saturday.

“We know that they will come highly motivated and really competitive. And we’ve got to try to match them in those areas and try to play with energy and intensity ourselves. Then if we can do that, we’re confident we can get a positive result.”

The Imps will be looking to score for the 21st consecutive game in all competitions. A record that stretches all the way back to late October, when they failed to find the net away at Colchester.

Cowley on Farman

Lincoln will no doubt have prepared for the tough task they face this weekend. But they must also prepare for the arrival of a player who has been a key part of the Imps’ recent history.

Stevenage goalkeeper Paul Farman played a big role during the club’s rise from the National League. He made 250 appearances in over six years for the men in red and white. But ultimately became second choice to Josh Vickers last season, before leaving in the summer.

And Cowley has expressed his fondness towards his former keeper, but knows that the three points will be the main focus on Saturday.

He said:

“I look forward to seeing Paul. He was a great character in our dressing room. Certainly, in the two years that I was here, he did a fantastic job.

“He played a huge part in the season that we got promoted, and we obviously had the FA Cup run. So it’ll be great to see him and his lovely family, so we’re looking forward to it.

“But obviously, come three o’clock it’ll be business as usual.”

In terms of lineups, the Imps are likely to remain with Grant Smith between the sticks, as first-choice keeper Josh Vickers continues to nurse his injury.