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Danny Cowley talks "rewarding" Morecambe victory

17 December 2018

City boss Danny Cowley was pleased with his side's performance, especially in difficult winter conditions, as the three points moved the Imps back to the top of Sky Bet League Two.

Harry Anderson's fifth of the season got the Imps going, before a John Akinde penalty and a stunning Jason Shackell free-kick secured the three points on a brisk and wet afternoon at Sincil Bank.

“I thought it was a really good performance and outcome in difficult conditions. To get promotions and win leagues in English football can be difficult because of days like today, but that makes it more rewarding," the Imps boss said.

Danny went on to speak about Tom Pett’s partnership with full-back Harry Toffolo following Bruno Andrade’s exclusion from the match day squad: “We knew early in the week that Bruno [Andrade] probably wouldn’t play Saturday so we did some work on combining Harry [Toffolo] with Petty [Tom Pett] and Shay [McCartan]. 

“Bruno plays that position differently to Tom Pett who needs that combination with the extra pass. Petty has got such a wonder timing and weight of his pass which we knew would be a good partnership with Harry Toffolo who is so athletic on the overlap. It was a good start to the game for us and also a great finish from Harry Anderson.”

The Imps were rewarded a penalty just after the half an hour mark when Shay McCartan was fouled by Alex Kenyan.

“I thought it was good that we won the ball high up the pitch. When Shay gets in the box he has got such a low centre of gravity so he is good at changing direction," he added.

“There was some contact there and John’s done what John [Akinde] does best which is scoring a penalty in a very important moment of the day. 

“I don’t underestimate how hard it is to take penalties because it is an art and a skill. We missed a lot last year and he has done very well in being able to make the most of those moments for us.”

Jason Shackell added to his tally for the season with a magnificent free-kick eight minutes before half-time. The defender produced a great strike guiding the ball straight into the top right corner for his fourth goal of the season. 

Cowley praised the former Derby County man saying how his experience has been shown through his quality performances for the Imps: “He has been on at me asking to take free-kicks for a long while, but you don’t play over 50 Premier League games as well as most of your career in the Championship without having real top end quality. 

“He has got a lovely left foot and was the stand out man of the match for me today. I thought the way he organised the defence and the way he distributed possession from the back was immaculate in what were very difficult conditions. 

“It was a great free-kick in an important moment and to get three up in the first half was important. We knew at half-time it was going to be really difficult in the second half running into a brick wall of a wind. 

“If you look at the results from other games you will see it is very single half dominated from one team and then the opposition in the second.”

The Imps manager continued by praising supporter for their efforts in wet and windy conditions at Sincil Bank.  

Cowley explained how the fans support pushed the players on to see out the game: “We love Christmas, the best part of Christmas is the football. I thought the supporters were excellent today to come out in really difficult conditions, they could have easily looked outside today and made the decision to stay indoors. The supporters played a real key part in the game and pushed the boys on.”

Cowley finished by stating that the side are not focusing on their league position as they know the target they want to achieve this season: “We know how many points we need to get in order to achieve what we want to this season. We are fully focused on that and today was really tough, the boys had excellent attitude and application. We are not focusing on our league position we are just looking at accumulating points.”

We're back in action at Sincil Bank next Saturday as we host Newport County, whose game with MK Dons at the weekend was postponed. Click HERE to purchase tickets.


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