The Europa manager and players are expecting a very different Lincoln on Saturday in a competition where the opposition have the upper hand.
Morale in the Europa camp is at an all-time high after the comfortable win last Tuesday in the Rock Cup semi-final, but they are not taking anything for granted.
“We need to congratulate all the players for their effort and attitude against Lincoln,” said Europa manager Johnny Parrado. “It was a great match with a fantastic first half. In the second period we could have killed it off with the counter-attacks and the chances we had, many of them being one-on-one with the goalkeeper. In the end we won comfortably against a very strong team, making it look a lot easier than it was in the Rock Cup semi-final.
“But if anyone thinks Saturday’s league game against Lincoln will be any easier on Saturday because we already beat them once this week they would be very mistaken. Each game is a different scenario and winning will be just as hard.”
Being eight points clear at the top means that unlike in the Rock Cup semi-final Lincoln will not have to look for the win. Instead the league leaders could be happy to sit back and let Europa come at them, only pushing forward if they concede, like they did the last time the two sides met in the second round. On the other hand they could be looking to set the record straight, although after sacking two managers in three weeks, it could be that the ship is not as steady as it once was.
One of the players that shone in the Rock Cup semi-final was Mustapha Yahaya, executing the role of defensive midfielder to perfection while still having the energy and the skill to surge forward on the counter-attack. He told our readers that he felt his teammates responded positively to the pressure of playing their biggest rivals.