LINCOLN boss Danny Cowley reckons his team have a “mountain to climb” if they are to reach Wembley for the first time in the club’s 133-year history.
Cowley’s National League table-toppers trail 2-1 in their FA Trophy semi-final tie with York City ahead of the decisive second leg tomorrow at Sincil Bank, where an 8,000-strong crowd is expected.
The contest will go to extra-time if the aggregate score is level after 90 minutes with penalties then determining the winners should the outcome remain in the balance.
As a consequence, Cowley has called on the Imps faithful to help the home players win their supposed uphill battle.
He said: “We’ve got a lot to do. This club has never been to Wembley in 133 years of existence so, to make some more history this season, we’re going to need everybody to contribute.
“We need everyone to get right behind the boys because we’ve got a mountain to climb. We’ve got to go and beat a very confident and resurgent York team, but we’re fighters and we’re determined to make it happen.
“We learned a lot from Tuesday and we’ve now got to be really positive in our mindset and patient and brave in the way we play.”
Former Braintree boss Cowley believes his team, who became the first non-League outfit to reach the FA Cup’s quarter-finals this term, thrive in adversity.
From the 15 games they have gone behind in during 2016/17, they have gone on to lose seven, draw two and win six and he argued: “We’ve been behind in a lot of games this season and we’ve managed to find a way. When our backs are against the wall, you normally see the best of us and we’re going to need to fight our way back into this one.”
The London-born, 38-year-old, meanwhile, revealed that his players will practice spot kicks in training to prepare themselves for the possibility of a shoot-out.
“You’ve got to rehearse all your skills,” he explained. “Our training is built around rehearsal and trying to recreate the match-day atmosphere as well as we can.
“Can you recreate the pressure? Probably not, but I think you always feel more confident after a rehearsal.”
Goalkeeper Paul Farman, Alex Woodyard, Sean Raggett, Nathan Arnold and Jonathon Margetts are expected to feature for Lincoln having been rotated out of the squad for the first leg. Matt Rhead, Alan Power and Luke Waterfall, who came off the bench, are set to start.