Mark Kennedy: Lincoln City ‘incredible’ in Southampton defeat in EFL Cup

Lincoln City celebrate the own goal that put them ahead early on at Southampton
An own goal put Lincoln City ahead after just two minutes against Southampton

Boss Mark Kennedy wants Lincoln City to match their “incredible” performance in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat by Premier League side Southampton when they return to League One action.

The side’s cup run was ended by their top-flight hosts, who fought back from a goal down to prevail 2-1.

Kennedy said his side “put in a performance fans could be proud of” and wants to see a repeat against Burton.

“It’ll be a different game, but equally as tough,” said Kennedy.

Lincoln’s first meeting with Southampton for 26 years came as a pre-Christmas glamour tie for the Imps, but Kennedy knows not every game will evoke the same ambition in his players.

The trip to the Pirelli Stadium on 26 December is to take on a Burton that is side second from bottom in League One.

Kennedy told BBC Radio Lincolnshire his side’s journey into Southampton’s St Mary’s ground was “quite eye-catching” as they drove in.

He added: “Every game is different and we are back focusing on the league; ultimately, that is our goal going forward. We know it will be a different type of football.

“Burton are a good side, I watched them last week. They have good players, good individuals, collectively they are good, they score lots of goals and they get a lot of late goals.”

Kennedy said the Imps’ performance in what was their first fourth-round tie in the League Cup since 1967-68, was more “evidence” that his side are on “the right path”.

Southampton made just three changes from the side that lost 3-1 at Liverpool in the Premier League in their last game before the World Cup.

The two Saints players who were in Qatar for the tournament – Germany’s Armel Bella-Kotchap and Ghana’s Mohammed Salisu – both started in defence.

“Southampton have gone as strong as they can go with the players they have available – that is their first team and I thought we deserved something out of the game,” Kennedy said.

“I thought they were incredible, showed real bravery in and out of possession; the work rate, discipline and attitude was was phenomenal.”

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