The lads are distraught – Lincoln boss Michael Skubala ‘gutted’ to see run end

By Sports Desk April 13, 2024

Michael Skubala admitted his play-off chasing Lincoln side were “distraught” after losing 2-1 to Wigan.

The Imps had three goals disallowed as their impressive 16-game unbeaten run, which stretched back to New Year’s Day, was ended by Latics at Sincil Bank.

Jonny Smith opened the scoring before Daniel Mandroiu levelled the scoring.

But Charlie Hughes’ stoppage-time strike was a dagger into Imps’ hearts in their play-off chase.

They are now five points behind Oxford ahead of a massive clash at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night.

“We’re gutted,” said Skubala. “We’re gutted because we know we wanted to keep trying to win.

“We wanted to throw everything at them. We started really slowly. We got into the ascendancy but we couldn’t get that second goal.

“These lads give everything. There’s nothing prouder than this run. We’re creaking a little bit because we haven’t got the numbers really.

“We had somebody come and give us the Peterborough score, so we decided to give it everything. We were happy to risk it to try and get another goal.

“We’ve been hurt because we’re trying to risk it to try and win the game.

“We’re gutted. The lads are distraught, but there are nine points to play for so we’ll go to Oxford and give it everything.

“We didn’t start like ourselves. We were nervous, we were tentative. Last 20 minutes we were ourselves and aggressive.

“It was the first time I’ve seen some nerves in the group. But it’s new to us. It’s understandable.”

Latics secured a first win in five to throw a spanner in the works of Lincoln’s play-off bid, and boss Shaun Maloney said: “It was a brilliant performance, in different ways as well.

“The first 30 minutes was as high a level as we’ve shown in a game this season.

“The first goal that we scored was top class. When you watch that first goal and the talent in that move it was a real joy to watch.

“I’m trying to build this team back up. I’ve been really honest with the team. The level did drop at Blackpool, but after that we’ve been top class.

“When we had to put bodies on the line, they did it. They went to the death and there were a few players really having to dig deep there at the end.

“The first goal was started by Charlie and was an amazing start of play and with any sort of strike he’s so clean when he hits the ball.

“I really challenged the players. With the season, we’ve achieved what we will achieve, but you still want to win, so I’m really pleased.”

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