'If it needs that little bit longer, we're ready' - Blues ready to handle extra-time and penalties at Lincoln
PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 November 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
The Ipswich Town squad are prepared for their FA Cup replay with Lincoln to go the full distance as they bid to make it through to round two this evening.
The two sides meet again at Sincil Bank this evening after drawing 1-1 in the initial staging at Portman Road, which extended the Blues' winless run in the competition to 15 games over nearly 10 years.
Should the scores be level again after 90 minutes tonight, extra-time and penalties will follow, with assistant manager Stuart Taylor insisting the squad are prepared for all eventualities.
"It would be nice to get through this one in 90 minutes and get back down the road before midnight, but if it needs that little bit longer to get through then so be it," Taylor said.
"The lads are fit enough and strong enough to go and get through the game, however long it is. It's not an easy tie and we're not expecting to go out there and win (easily) because it will be very tough.
"We have confidence within ourselves, we know what we need to do."
On the prospect of a penalty shootout, Taylor added: "Coming up to games like this you do work on (penalties) but it's just a case of being confident about it, we don't put too much emphasise on it."
Tonight's side is set to be similar to the one fielded for the first game 10 days ago, in which manager Paul Lambert changed his entire outfield.
And, while Taylor admitted a replay was an unwanted extra game, the assistant boss insisted every opportunity to get minutes into players' legs is a welcome one.
"It's great to play games and we have another one here which will give lads another 90 minutes under their belts," he said.
"Would we have liked to have won this game in 90 minutes at Portman Road? Of course we would have, but it gives us another chance to play players who have not played for a while, coming back from injury or are younger ones coming through.
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"We want to play every game and win every game, whatever the competition, so that's our target. Hopefully we get the result."
Taylor added: "There's a lot of competition for places now, and that's the pleasing and positive aspect to having these cup games in that we can get everybody up to or near enough equal amount of game time.
"It was a full training session today (Monday) where everybody was out on the grass, so we'll see what the game brings.
"So the positive to it is with Toto (Nsiala) coming back after a long-term injury, Emyr (Huws) has come back and played back-to-back games and we've had other lads as well come back and make up game time.
"Janoi Donacien's come back and went into back-to-back games, Myles (Kenlock) has come back from his spell out with back-to-back games, and that's the positive to playing the cup games.
"So we're over the moon and absolutely delighted with how everyone has come through in the last couple of games, and it's got us all on an equal pegging of competition for places.
"You have to look at Saturday's game and look at the bigger picture and look at what's right for the lads, especially when they're travelling back as well.
"We've all got a goal here at the football club and everybody is exactly the same. Yes, there will be individual goals of playing as many games as they can, scoring as many goals as they can and getting as many clean sheets as they can."
On Michael Appleton's Lincoln side, Taylor added: "They're a good side and we saw that in the game at Portman Road.
"From our analysis we saw how much they have changed from the previous management (Danny and Nicky Cowley) and they like to play the ball around and build it up from the back.
"They have plenty of good players, without a doubt, but we will go up there and play our own game."