'Well and truly beaten, no excuses, we got beaten by a much better side.’ - Lincoln City boss' forceful response to loss to former club Portsmouth

Michael Appleton offered no excuses as his Lincoln side were put to the sword by Pompey.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 11:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 12:15 pm

The former Blues boss admitted his team were soundly defeated as Danny Cowley enjoyed a happy return to his old stomping ground, with his team picking up a 3-0 win.

Appleton explainend how some of his players were left embarrassed by what unfolded at Sincil Bank.

He told Lincolnshire Live: ‘Car crash wouldn’t be too strong of a word to use.

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‘When you come up against a side who get the ball forward early, jump on seconds, jump on firsts (balls), you’ve got to compete, and we didn’t compete. We were second best in most departments.

‘You need to give yourself a platform. The first goal is a great example of that.

‘We were in control of the situation two or three times and let that control be taken away from us and found ourselves a goal behind.

‘And rightly so (on the balance of play), but we should have and could have come away in the first half with a 0-0, regardless of how poor we were and how well Portsmouth played.

Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com).

‘The second and third goals – and we’ve just shown the players – there’s one or two really embarrassed players in the dressing room because they’ve been told.

‘A bad night, well and truly beaten, no excuses, we got beaten by a much better side.’

Questions were asked about Appleton’s policy of building from the back as they faced a determined press from Pompey.

The Salford man was clear that wasn’t the reason for his side’s downfall, however.

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He added: ‘They were unforced errors. If we were under severe pressure to play out, I’d get that (questions about playing out from the back), or if we were playing against a side a level above us.

‘But we were playing against a side in our league. If we want to get to where we want to get to, we have to persist with it.

‘That’s not why we lost the game. We lost the game because when they had the ball, with the goalkeeper or centre-halves, and it got played into Harness or Hirst, we just didn’t win the first header.

‘I think we lost 95 per cent of first headers. We didn’t lose the game because of playing out from the back.

‘We lost the game because we didn’t win the first one, we didn’t win the second one and, eventually over a period of time, it builds and builds, and that’s where they got the (first) goal from.’

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