Lincoln boss Michael Appleton pinpoints threat of Blackpool's strike duo Jerry Yates and Everton loanee Ellis Simms ahead of play-off final

Michael Appleton says his Lincoln City side must be wary of the threat of Jerry Yates and Ellis Simms when the Imps take on Blackpool in the League One play-off final.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 10:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 10:34 am

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The two sides meet in Sunday's Wembley showdown after overcoming Oxford United and Sunderland in their semi-final ties.

Neil Critchley's men beat the U's 6-3 on aggregate over the two legs, while Lincoln edged past the Black Cats 3-2.

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Appleton, who spent a brief spell in charge at Bloomfield Road during the 2012/13 season, says his Lincoln side will have to nullify Yates and Simms if they're to make it past the Seasiders and secure a place in the Championship.

Yates has netted 23 goals this season while Simms has weighed in with 10, including two in the first leg win over Oxford, since arriving on loan from Everton on January.

“They’ve been great, especially in the second half of the season,” Appleton told Lincolnshire Live.

“They’ve got a very simple way of playing and they do it really, really well.

Lincoln boss Michael Appleton

“And they’ve got two lads up front, in Simms and Yates, who are very effective, get hold of the ball and make it difficult. They’ve got [Gary] Madine who they can turn to as well.

“They’ve got a lot of energy in the team and can score goals, as we’ve seen.

“Friday [the second leg against Oxford finished 3-3 on the night] was a bit of mental game but before that they’d kept five clean sheets.

“It’s going to be a tough game. But if you get to a play-off final, you’re not expecting an easy game, are you?”

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