Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton curses luck but concedes to 'motivated' Blackpool after League One play-off final

Michael Appleton cursed the fine margins and luck needed to seal promotion but praised Blackpool after their 2-1 win over his Lincoln City side.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 8:00 am
Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton at Wembley.
Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton at Wembley.

The Imps took the lead within the first minute as Ollie Turton turned the ball into his own net.

But Lincoln surrendered their leads as Kenny Dougall scored twice to complete a comeback that saw the Seasiders into the Championship.

There were claims of handball from Lincoln supporters in the build up to Pool's second and though Appleton could see the decision being given, he had no complaints that it wasn't.

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"Yeah it potentially would have been ruled out," he said.

"I don't think he particularly meant to do it but his arm was away from his side a little bit.

"I would have felt hard done by if I had that decision given against me.

"It's just that little bit of luck that you need I suppose. From our point of view, we'll look at that and try and make it so the referee doesn't have a decision.

"That's probably the thing that will disappoint me more than anything."

Appleton's Lincoln defied all expectations to secure their date at Wembley, with even their own fans expecting little than a middling campaign.

Their 45-year-old boss wants to see the Imps in the showcase events more regularly but knows they need to be betyter than just 'okay' or 'decent'.

He said: "It's disappointing, no one wants to lose a play-off final.

"I'm not sure what to say, we got off to a decent start, maybe too good of a start. We conceded two goals that were very frustrating.

"The first one is probably one of the reasons why we allowed Blackpool back into the game in the first half, passing the ball sideways and backwards too many times without purpose or tempo.

"A big part of Blackpool's game is crosses into the box, they kept the ball alive and it was another clean strike by Dougall.

"We had moments but we were playing against a really motivated side that have been on a fantastic run since the turn of the year.

"We gave them an okay game, a decent game, but there is no way that it wins you finals.

"I'm not going to sit here and be critical of any of the players after what they have produced over the season.

"We're 60 games in, I think there has only been Manchester City and Manchester United who have played more games than us.

"It gives you an idea of where we've been and what we've done over the course of the season and how far we've come.

"We fell short, at the last hurdle. From our point of view I just think we need to make sure we are competing in these sorts of games on a regular basis."

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