It’s up to us now – Michael Skubala knows Lincoln control their play-off destiny

By Sports Desk April 20, 2024

Michael Skubala hailed the character of his Lincoln side after they came from behind to win 2-1 at Cheltenham and move into the League One play-off places with one game left.

Relegation battlers Cheltenham led through Liam Sercombe’s early penalty, but Joe Taylor levelled before half-time and Freddie Draper won it seven minutes after the break.

The Imps’ top six destiny is in their own hands, with a home match against champions Portsmouth to finish, while Cheltenham’s place in the third tier is now hanging by a thread.

“We knew it was going to be tough coming here,” Skubala said.

“We know how much they were fighting for every point so they could stay up.

“They started the game brighter than us and we didn’t begin it as ourselves.

“In the second half we came out and blew them away a little bit and could have probably scored more.

“It was a brilliant second half and everyone worked hard, digging deep to get those points.

“The 1,000-plus fans really got behind the team and pushed us on when we were 1-0 down.

“It really counted and helped us get back into the game. They drove us on.

“The character of the group is amazing and if we looked back months ago to be told we’d be in a position where we’re sixth with the champions coming to our place to face us as we look to clinch a place in the play-offs we’d have all taken it. It’s up to us now.”

A midweek win at Burton had kept Cheltenham’s survival hopes alive but the defeat leaves them five points from safety with just two games left to play.

Manager Darrell Clarke is refusing to throw in the towel while survival remains a possibility.

“I am gutted, first of all, but we still have to try and take it to the last game of the season,” Clarke said.

“We have to win on Tuesday night (Peterborough at home) and then anything can happen in the last game (at Stevenage). We have to do that.

“We have to appreciate moments in the game today where we should score.

“In the first half we had some golden opportunities so to come in at half-time only 1-1 is disappointing because we’d opened them up a few times and the gameplan was working.

“The first half was the best we’ve played at home for a long time.

“I was then disappointed with the second half as a whole because we huffed and puffed, with players tiring.”

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