Lincoln City boss delivers verdict on Sunderland win and sets out clear plan for second leg
Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton insists that his side will not look to sit on their lead at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Goals from Tom Hopper and Brennan Johnson gave Appleton's side a valuable 2-0 lead at the LNER Stadium on Wednesday night, leaving Sunderland with a mountain to climb.
The Black Cats did create a number of chances in the second half, and were particularly dominant in the moments after Hopper gave his side the lead with a simple back-post finish.
Appleton said that spell was a warning to his side, and insisted that they cannot afford to gift the initiative to their opponents in front of 10,000 fans this weekend.
"We’ll go there and try and win the game," he said.
“If we go there and try and get a draw, we’ll end up doing what we did for 20 minutes after we took the lead, defending on the edge of our box and allowing them to put balls in the box.
“That definitely won’t be the mindset. We’ll try and be a bit more possession based, like we were in the first half, and try to win the game.”
Lincoln had enjoyed the better of much of the first half, with Johnson hitting the post in one of a number of threatening breakaways.
Appleton's side undoubtedly owed much to their emergency loan goalkeeper, all the same.
Josef Bursik, who had recently joined Peterborough United in their push for automatic promotion after an injury to Christy Pym, made some excellent saves.
“I thought we were resolute when we had to be," Appleton said.
"I think we can be miles better with the ball.
“I thought we played quite well in the first half. I thought we were the better side and created better opportunities. They never really threatened the goal in the first half.
“Once we scored the goal, they came into it. They had a spell of 20-25 minutes where they put us under a bit of pressure.
“We had to deal with that. When we couldn’t deal with it, Joe made a couple of good saves for us.”