Joey Barton expects former Town defender Cian Bolger to want to prove a point should he come up against them on Saturday.
Barton let the centre-half join Lincoln City on a permanent basis in January, since when he has helped Danny Cowley’s side clinch promotion from League Two.
Barton was impressed by Bolger’s performance for the Imps in their 4-2 Carabao Cup defeat to Everton on Wednesday night – but expects Michael Bostwick to be named ahead of him this weekend.
When asked if he thought it was the right decision to let Bolger go, Barton said: “Yeah. For us he is a player who you know has qualities because of how well he did before we got here.
“I just felt with what we are trying to do and how we are trying to do things that sometimes players and managers just do not fit.
“It does not mean that one is a bad player, it is just a case of someone does not quite fit the way you want the game played or see the game played.
“I thought Bolge played well (against Everton) in the game I saw.
“I’d be surprised if he played against us, Bostwick will probably come in and start because that is their league team but based on Wednesday night’s showing, he gave a good account of himself and probably wants to start against us.
“He will have a point to prove, usually you do against a club that let you go.
“He was a good lad when I was here and did well, he just did not fit for us.
“I wished him all the best on his way.
“He went and got a promotion with Lincoln and obviously he is back playing in League One. Good luck to him.”
Barton said Cowley’s side did League One proud against the Toffees.
Lincoln led in the opening minute and, after falling behind, levelled the match up before two late goals gave Everton the victory.
He said: “I thought they were really good on Wednesday night.
“I watched them scare Everton; you settle down and watch a game and don’t expect a Premier League side to concede after 20-odd seconds.
“A great start by Lincoln, got themselves in the ascendancy and set it up for a really good cup tie.
“They did League One proud by giving one of the top 10 of the Premier League a scare.
“We will have to be on our mettle to get a result and a performance from Saturday.”
Town will be without Conor McAleny, Jack Sowerby and Craig Morgan for the clash.
Barton is expecting a response from Lincoln who are aiming to end a run of three straight defeats.
He said: “I would think there will be a number of changes for Lincoln.
“I would expect Bostwick, (Jorge) Grant, Tyler Walker to play, that was the take out from last night.
“I know Danny made a few changes later in the game, I saw his post-match interview and he said he was protecting a couple of their key players so clearly they have one eye on the league campaign.
“They had a nice distraction with a Premier League side coming in the cup.
“It will be a game both sides are keen to win.
“They are on the back of two defeats in the league and being knocked out of the cup.
“They will be looking to respond to that and get their season back on track.”