Lincoln City boss slams EFL and says Doncaster have 'huge advantage' ahead of League One clash

Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley has slammed the EFL, insisting their handling of Bolton Wanderers and Bury has given Doncaster Rovers an advantage ahead of Saturday's clash.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 10:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 10:46 am
Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley

Darren Moore's side were due to play Bolton last night, however the game was cancelled on Monday with The Trotters expressing concerns over the welfare of their young playing squad.

And Cowley has launched a lengthy rant over the involvement of the EFL with Rovers enjoying a week break from League One action, compared to The Imps' three, who suffered their defeat of the season at MK Dons last night.

“It’s a huge disadvantage for us, there’s no hiding place from that, and no doubt Darren Moore (the Doncaster manager) was here watching us (at MK Dons),” Cowley told Lincolnshire Live.

“They’ve now had a free week while we’ve played five games this month so far. We’ve got nine games in a month and we’ve only got 18 players and have two long-term injuries.

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“So what do I do on Friday? Do I cancel the game and let everyone know by social media?

“I’m perplexed and I’m disappointed by the EFL, but I genuinely feel sorry for Bolton and Bury.

“I feel sorry for their staff and players, I feel sorry for the people and the communities because I know how important these football clubs are to them.

“But I’m frustrated and annoyed that the EFL have allowed it to get to this stage.

“They have to do fit and proper tests to ensure the calibre of the person [to take over a club] is suitable. The EFL have got a lot to answer for."

The 40-year-old, who has guided The Imps to three successive promotions, did admit he felt "sorry for Doncaster", though has similar feelings towards his team.

“I feel sorry for Doncaster because they should have played. On the back of Bolton losing 5-0 to Tranmere on Saturday, there’s a good chance Doncaster would have won tonight.

“I feel sorry for us because MK Dons have played 25 per cent less than us because they didn’t play Bury on the first day of the season.

“So there are huge issues with the integrity of the division. A league should be a level playing field and it’s not a level playing field.”

Rovers host Lincoln in the division's early kick-off on Saturday having made an unbeaten start to the term.

When asked directly if Doncaster’s free week would affect his preparations Cowley replied: “It makes it even harder, doesn’t it. It makes it nigh on impossible to go to Doncaster and get a result.

“Look how big this pitch [at MK Dons] is and how many miles we will have covered.

“Now we’ve got to dust ourselves off and try and play a Doncaster team in a local derby that are much fresher than us. It’s really tough.”