Meet Blues' opponents, Lincoln: Imps boss thinks Town will finish top six
Ipswich Town travel to Lincoln City today still hunting for that first win of the season. MIKE BACON takes a look at the Blues' opponents.
Lincoln City are on a three-match unbeaten run in all competitions and sit in 15th place in the League One table, seven places and five points above Town.
After an opening day draw with Gillingham, followed by victory over Fleetwood, Michael Appleton's side lost three on the bounce before hitting back with a big 1-5 win at Cambridge United last weekend.
In midweek, the Imps drew 1-1 at Sincil Bank against Rotherham.
They have also enjoyed two good results in the EFL Trophy, beating Bradford City away 0-3 and winning at home against a Manchester United U21 side by three goals to two.
MEETING UP WITH TEDDY
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Teddy Bishop joined Ipswich Town as a seven-year-old and spent the next 18 years at Portman Road, clocking up more than 120 appearances in what was sadly an injury-ravaged career with the Blues.
A popular player and big talent, Bishop was sold to Lincoln in the summer during Paul Cook's purge on his squad.
Bishop made his Lincoln City debut coming off the bench on the opening day of the season against Gillingham and he made his first start against Shrewsbury Town in the EFL Cup a few days later, where he would score his first goal for the club, a stunning goal from outside the area.
However, he limped off with an ankle issue during the victory at Cambridge, but that wasn’t the reason he stayed on the bench for Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Rotherham.
Bishop has been unwell and only played a limited part in the warm-up as a result. Tests for Covid-19 came back negative.
“His ankle is fine,” Appleton told LincolnshireLive. “We got a phone call on Sunday saying he felt unwell. He’s done his Covid tests and he’s fine.
“Hopefully he can recover and get himself right for Saturday. I’m sure it’ll be a game he’ll be desperate to play in.”
MEET THE GAFFER
Born in Salford, Greater Manchester, Lincoln boss Michael Appleton is a lifelong Manchester United fan, who progressed through the club's youth system before earning a professional contract in 1994.
However, he only played twice for the Reds before moving on to Grimsby for a spell and then a longer spell at Preston North End. He finished his playing career at West Brom.
Now managing his seventh club, Appleton took over at Sincil Bank in September 2019 after former Imps boss Danny Cowley joined Championship side, Huddersfield Town.
He is currently enjoying a 42% win ratio with the Imps, but is not taking Town lightly.
Asked if he was surprised by Ipswich’s poor start, Appleton said: “I am and I’m not. Signing 19 players, that’s a hell of a lot of players to bring in at the same time.
“At some point they are going to click. I’d be surprised and shocked if they’re not in the top six come game 46.”
THAT NIGHT, THAT RESULT
Sincil Bank, Lincoln, will always be worst remembered for Town fans after Mick McCarthy's side were humiliated in front of the television cameras in an FA Cup third round replay in January 2017.
Non-league Lincoln City reached the FA Cup fourth round for the first time in 41 years that night, as Nathan Arnold's injury-time strike secured a deserved victory after the two teams had drawn at Portman Road in the first staging of the tie.
Of all the highs at Portman Road over the decades, that recent night was one of the biggest-ever lows.
Town's poor form has now been picked up by the bookies, who were happy to make Ipswich favourites in games even after they failed to win any of their first four matches. Now, however, that's all changed and the Imps start favourites for this one.
Lincoln win: 5/4, draw 12/5, Ipswich win 23/10
DID YOU KNOW?
Lincoln’s magnificent cathedral was once the tallest building in the world. Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza was the world’s tallest man-made structure for thousands of years, until it was finally surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral, reaching just short of 160 metres tall when an expansion was completed in 1311. The cathedral then held the record until its spire collapsed nearly two and a half centuries later in 1549.