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INTERVIEW: Coley on final home game of 2021/22 campaign

Lincoln City the final visitors to the Wham Stadium

21 April 2022

It’s the final home game of the 2021/22 season with 18th placed Lincoln City the visitors to the Wham Stadium.

The Imps are six points behind the 15th placed Reds and safe from the bottom four.

Michael Appleton’s side were in the Play-Off final last season but it’s been a battle for them in this campaign.

“People just think you can keep doing it,” said manager John Coleman. “They have had a lot of bad luck through injuries and they are a very good side when they get it right.

“They have struggled at home which is unusual for Lincoln and sometimes you can’t put your finger on it. You just have to write it off as a year that things didn’t go right and look to next season.

“They are still a big club who can attract big players and pay the wages to attract big players so I wouldn’t be discounting them for next season.”

Coleman admitted this season has been tough for his own side, with 15 wins from their 44 games so far, with 11 of the victories at the Wham Stadium.

“When things are going great the season flies and sometimes it can drag when things aren’t going your way.

“It’s been a long, draining season and lots of things that could go wrong, did go wrong and I am proud of the way the players have carried on going and battled through it.

“We have just been so unlucky with a high proportion of major decisions which have gone against us but the players are giving their all and they never let their heads drop.

“We have had one or two games where we have let ourselves down, such as Burton away, but in the main I think the fans appreciate how hard the players work, how much they try and hopefully luck will go our way next season.

“Looking back, we have probably played as well as we have in League One, this season. We have turned in some smashing performances and we have to build on that.”

With the return of the fans this season after Covid restrictions, the Reds boss was full of praise for the travelling supporters.

“We have been to a couple of 20,000 attendances this season with a small band in terms of what they are competing against and our fans out-sang them.

“You hear our fans every game so fair play to them and hopefully we can sign off giving them more to sing about on Saturday.”

Coleman is already turning his attention to next season with the majority of his players under contract.

“I have not got many players who are out of contract so a lot of it is in my hands, which hasn’t always been the case over the years here, and there are certain areas I feel we can improve.

“It is a hard job telling players who will stay and go but it’s all part of being a manager.”

Rosaire Longelo is suspended for the final two games of the campaign after being sent off against Bolton.

Coleman added: “I feel for Rosaire, it’s unfortunate as he played really well at Bolton and it was his opportunity to stake a claim for a place next season and he will miss the first game of next season as well.

“Michael Nottingham has been like the walking wounded for around three months, I don’t know how he has got through every game, so it will be good that he will have a rest after these next two games.”

The full pre-match interview with John Coleman is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!


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