November 23, 2021 4.03 pm

Cowley vs Appleton as Lincoln City ready for Portsmouth match

A return to where they made their name for the Cowley brothers

Danny Cowley will be returning to the LNER Stadium this Tuesday, marking his first managerial appearance against Lincoln City since leaving the Imps in 2019.

The former Imps manager is a legendary figure in Lincoln, having guided the club from the National League up to League One, winning the EFL Trophy along the way.

He and assistant manager Nicky Cowley, Danny’s brother, left the Imps in September 2019 after being offered a three-year contract at Championship side Huddersfield Town and, despite guiding the Terriers to safety from relegation, he was sacked just over ten months after taking the job.

Danny and Nicky Cowley. | Photo: Huddersfield Town Football Club/Twitter

Cowley’s replacement at Lincoln was Michael Appleton, who was just 90 minutes away from famously taking the Imps to the Championship last season, narrowly missing out 2-1 in the play-off final against Blackpool at Wembley in May.

Appleton, perhaps missing the star-studded influence of Jorge Grant, who was sold to Peterborough United in the summer, and last season’s loan players Brennan Johnson and Morgan Rogers, has the Imps in 16th place in League One after 17 games this campaign.

Imps manager Michael Appleton. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Danny is now back in management at League One side Portsmouth, and his Pompey side will travel to familiar surroundings for Cowley on Tuesday night, in the form of an away match against Lincoln City.

Ahead of the game, Danny Cowley said during his pre-match press conference that Lincoln City will “always have a special place” in both his and brother Nicky’s hearts, referencing “great memories” and “great friendships” from his time at the Imps.

It will be Cowley’s first time in the opposition dugout at the LNER Stadium, and he will be hoping to maintain his team’s decent run of form.

Portsmouth are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions after a humbling 4-0 defeat at home to Ipswich Town on October 19.

The recent form of Danny Cowley’s side has seen them return to the top half of the League One table in 9th place, just five points outside the play-off places and five points clear of Lincoln City in 16th.

As well as this, Pompey have progressed to the second round of the FA Cup, where they will face Harrogate Town at Fratton Park on December 4, and the second round of the Papa John’s Trophy, setting up an away match with Exeter City ten days later.

As for Lincoln, they are unbeaten in five in all competitions, but have drawn three of their last four league games and only got their first league clean sheet of the season last weekend against struggling Doncaster Rovers.

Lincoln City beat non-league side Bowers & Pitsea 1-0 in the FA Cup 1st round thanks to Max Sanders’ goal. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Lincoln City are still dealing with a number of first team injuries ahead of the game, with Joe Walsh and Tom Hopper expected to be out until the new year and club captain Liam Briductt ruled out of Tuesday’s match.

The likes of Lewis Fiorini, Dan Nlundulu, Adam Jackson, Lasse Sorensen and Anthony Scully are all 50/50 for the Portsmouth game according to Michael Appleton, as he looks to build on back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season in the Imps’ last two games.

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