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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

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More of the same: Hoskin urges Barrow AFC to play 'with a swagger'

ASHLEY Hoskin has urged The Bluebirds to keep the swagger in their step when they attempt to pile more misery on managerless Lincoln City at Sincil Bank tomorrow (3pm).

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ROAR OF APPROVAL Ashley Hoskin REF: 50044738B002

The assistant boss heaped praise on Barrow’s first-half display following Tuesday night’s 2-0 home victory over Woking, after winger Danny Rowe netted early on to hand his side a one-goal advantage at the break.

The Bluebirds out-played and out-battled Woking, before Barrow’s other Danny Rowe, the on-loan Fleetwood Town attacker, effectively killed off the game by converting an excellent 53rd-minute free-kick.

While the victory ended Barrow’s four-match losing streak, Hoskin is now calling for more of the same when they collide with one of their closest relegation rivals in Lincoln, who have largely struggled since slipping out of the Football League at the end of the 2010/11 season.

“We won’t prepare any differently than we did before the Woking game,” said Hoskin.

“We’re playing at Lincoln who are an ex-League club, but we’ll go there and the lads will do their very best – all we ask is that they give 100 per cent.

“They did that on Tuesday, but they also did it with a sort of swagger in their step, especially in the first half, because that’s the best we’ve been football-wise for a long time.

“We need to take that into Saturday and for people do their jobs, because if they do that from one to 11, we’ve always got a chance of winning a football match.”

With Barrow occupying the final relegation spot in the Conference Premier table, they will move level on points with the Imps if they achieve a second successive win tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Lincoln are hunting for their third manager in less than two-and-a-half years after David Holdworth left the club by mutual consent following the Imps’ 3-2 defeat at Hereford last weekend.

Holdsworth’s demise seemed almost inevitable after he presided over a dismal 10-game run that included six defeats, and just one win, to drag City into the relegation dogfight.

Lincoln’s glaring decline has seen them plummet from the top half of the table since suffering a 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Mansfield in mid-December, thus missing out on a glamour tie with Premier League giants Liverpool.

Lincoln’s head of youth Grant Brown, and club director and former Halifax centre-half Chris Moyses, have been placed in caretaker charge.

And the potential candidates being linked with the vacant manager’s post include Brown, ex-Luton Town assistant Kevin Watson, former Lincoln City assistant manager Gary Simpson and ex-Hull City striker Dean Windass.

But Hoskin is turning a blind eye to Lincoln’s off-field woes after Barrow bounced back from last weekend’s disappointing 2-1 home defeat against Nuneaton.

“I don’t worry about anybody, I worry about what we’re doing more than any opposition because we’ve shown this season that we’re quite capable of going out there and beating teams,” he added.

“We’ve also shown our bad side, like we did last Saturday when we shot ourselves in the foot, and that is frustrating.

“So we believe that if we get out there and do our job then we are a match for anybody.”

While injuries have blighted Lincoln’s season, they will be hoping eight-goal striker Vadaine Oliver recovers from an ankle problem to partner 13-goal leading scorer Jamie Taylor up front.

Gary Mills is ruled out with a knee injury, while fellow Imps midfielder Jake Sheridan and left-back Peter Gilbert are suspended.

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