Lincoln City head coach Michael Skubala admits he’s hopeful of being able to ‘move some parts around’ following his side’s 3-1 defeat at Derby County last night.
The Imps started both halves brightly against Paul Warne’s side but paid the price for a lack of attacking threat. Conor Hourihane opened the scoring before Danny Mandroiu drew the Imps level from the spot following Joe Ward’s foul on Paudie O’Connor.
Despite Lincoln looking lively in the open ten minutes of the second half, Kane Wilson scored for the hosts before James Collins finished off the game with 15 minutes left on the clock.
The Imps started with 19-year-old Jovon Makama up front, with Tyler Walker, Ben House, and Reeco Hackett all out injured. They’ve struggled since September with injuries, and Skubala admitted he’s hopeful the club will have a remedy in January.
“We can all see that with Jovan again, it’s tough for him because he’s young,” said the former Leeds United 21 boss. “We just need a little bit more of a threat on the top line.
“I think we can see we need goals. That’s for the club and the board and Jez (George) to look at it.”
When pressed, Skubala confessed they may need to shuffle some players around to develop in the New Year.
“I’m hopeful that we can move some parts around in the jigsaw,” added the 41-year-old.
“We’re still waiting on a few players to come back from injury. We’ve got some good players, Ben House and people like that, who offer us something a little bit different to the other strikers. It’s trying to get that jigsaw right in January.”
The Imps remain in ninth place, four points clear of Charlton, who have three games in hand. They’re a point behind Blackpool, having played a game more, and four off Bolton in sixth.
Things don’t get easier for Skubala’s side, as the promotion-hunting Trotters visit on Boxing Day before a New Year’s Day trip to Blackpool rounds off the Christmas period.
In the middle of those matches, struggling Northampton visit the LNER Stadium.
Lincoln City fans don’t seem happy on Twitter after last night’s defeat, but the squad does look like it is running on empty. They didn’t get a break over the international weekend and were forced to travel to Accrington, only for the BSM Trophy game to be called off a minute after it should have kicked off. In addition, they played 85 minutes of a game against Orient, which was abandoned, meaning they’ve actually played 24 matches in the first half of the season.
Couple that with the injuries up front and a manager change, and it is remarkable Skubala’s team are in touching distance of the top six at all. Yes, they look toothless, and it is clear their striker options are not sufficient to carry on competing at the top of the table. Skubala is right to be hopeful of shuffling the deck – the fans will be hoping to see the same.