Whatever happens, we have had a good season. Can we get 12 more points though? It doesnt matter how the points are recorded. Lucky own goal, a game influenced by a sending off, a wonder goal, who knows.
When is Jorge Grant able to return? Can he play a few games before the end of the season?
I think the two weeks will have helped them mentally. Appleton will know who can play, and needs to adjust tactics accordingly. If, and it is a big if, we did make the play offs, then anything can happen. UTI
The big unknown for us is how many and how badly affected are the players with covid?
Doubtful many any of the injured players will be back as well.
Think the top 3 will go but Portsmouth and Blackpool are definitely knocking on the door.
I suppose we will only know more on who is able to play or not on Saturday. Hopefully some will have rested, the coronavirus hasn't been too severe, some injuries will have improved and allow some to return. A sixth place finish would be fantastic. A full strength Lincoln would have a really good chance in the play-offs. The present team is going to have to play really well to get there.
Although it looks bleak from a form perspective, it's not a case of giving up on promotion, just concentrating on our own results. Anything could happen.
I can illustrate that with an example from last season involving my Spanish team. This may be too long-winded to read...
When the Covid suspension happened Elche were in good form and had moved into the final play off position of 6th
After the resumption they were inconsistent and out of form, and in the penultimate match fell out of the frame.
In the final round of games they had to win and hope that Fuenlabrada lost at Deportivo la Coruna, who themselves had to win to stand any chance of avoiding relegation.
Two hours before all games kicked off Fuenlabrada reported several Covid cases and their match was postponed. The other teams affected by play-offs and relegation wanted to postpone too, but the League insisted they all play.
Elche won their match with a goal in the last five minutes, temporarily moving them to 6th, however Fuenlabrada only needed a draw in the outstanding game against Depor, who now knew they were relegated, had nothing to play for, and with players no doubt looking for contracts elsewhere.
That game was played three weeks later. Fuenlabrada took the lead, Depor equalised in the second half and then, in the final minute of injury time, were awarded a dubious penalty, which they scored.
This meant Elche, having reconciled themselves to going on holiday, competed in the playoffs.
In the first tie they had a key player sent off in the first half but held on for a 0-0 draw. In the second leg, a goal in the last five minutes from a 40 year old put them in the playoff final.
The first leg of the final was also a dour 0-0. With the second leg also goalless and about to go into extra time, Elche managed a winner in the 96th minute, getting themselves promoted to La Liga on 23rd August due to the delays, and a succession of late goals against the odds.
The new season began 20 days later on 12th September.
If there's a moral to this it's that none of us have ever seen it all in football.
It’s in the lap of the gods now. Like others have said, the ’rest’ will have done them good mentally, and will have given MA and the coaching staff time to reassess and adjust. The two biggest issues for me are a) what level of fitness will the players have, especially those who have, or are still getting over, Covid, and b) a major factor is the training ground has been closed and the players haven’t had the opportunity to train together for the last 10 days or so. This suggests they may be very rusty against Blackpool, not a good time to be playing them. On the other hand, they may surprise the hell out of us 🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞
It is all in our own hands from here and if we secure a playoff place it will be on merit and fully deserved. I am pleased we are involved in this situation rather than scratching at the bottom of any league hoping for a few points.