What Michael Appleton said about Lincoln's defeat to Portsmouth
Michael Appleton conceded Lincoln had no answers to Pompey's well-organised rearguard when in pursuit of an equaliser at Sincil Bank.
The Blues delivered a 2-0 victory against the Imps on Tuesday night to move into the League One play-off places.
After a scrappy first half, Ronan Curtis broke the deadlock in the fifth minute of stoppage-time when he curled home a free-kick from 20 yards.
That put the onus on the hosts to level parity after the interval, but they struggled to break Kenny Jackett’s men down and created a dearth of goalscoring opportunities.
Pompey were also dangerous on the counter-attack and in the closing stages Steve Seddon was fouled inside the box, which allowed John Marquis to double the visitors' advantage from the penalty spot.
While ex-Blues boss Appleton was happy with the application his Lincoln troops displayed, he knew they didn’t do enough to get a result.
The Imps manager told his club's website: ‘It was frustrating to concede late in the first half, but I was really happy with the way we approach the game in the second half,” said Appleton.
‘They made it hard in the second half by defending deeper. It’s what you expect from a team that are 1-0 up away from home, it was a tough game for us. We will give them credit because they went ahead and made it difficult by not making many chances.
‘I was delighted with the approach in the second half there was more running and urgency to pick up the ball. When you chase the game, you are liable on the counterattack and we will now look towards Saturday.’