Ex-Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt makes play-off admission and praises inexperienced Lincoln City team-mates

Lincoln captain Liam Bridcutt admitted his side’s inexperience showed in the first half of their play-off second leg against Sunderland – but praised the Imps’ response after the interval.

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 7:00 am

Chasing a 2-0 deficit from the first leg, Sunderland drew level on aggregate after goals from Ross Stewart and Charlie Wyke at the Stadium of Light.

But despite their first-half dominance in front of 10,000 supporters, the Black Cats lost momentum after the interval, as Tom Hopper’s header saw Lincoln retake control of the tie.

The result sent Lincoln through to the League One play-off final at Wembley, and speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Bridcutt, 32, said: “It was a rollercoaster of emotions.

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Lincoln captain Liam Bridcutt.

“I said at the start it’s got to be a case of controlling our nerves and our emotions. I think the first 45 we showed that as a young group we are very inexperienced in terms of having big crowds.

“We got together and gathered our thoughts. I think that’s a key part of our squad togetherness and willingness to go forward and win games."

When asked what he said to his team-mates at half-time, Bridcutt, formerly of Sunderland, added: “It’s just a case of reassuring the lads.

“I’ve been in similar situations in my career so it’s just a case of me passing on my experience but to be fair to the squad they take it on straight away and it’s a sign of top players.

“I know most of these will go on to be top players.”

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