Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley has warned his players to balance emotion with calmness when they take on local rivals Mansfield Town in Saturday’s big local derby at Sincil Bank.
“Whenever you play in derby games, you’ve got to play with an emotion and adrenalin that allows you to get the level of intensity that you need,” he said.
“You also need to play with a calmness and a coolness and tactical intelligence. That’s the balance we’re trying to find but discipline in these derby games is absolutely crucial.
“If you become too emotional, you can then struggle to make intelligent decisions. If you’re going to be a problem-solver, you’ve got to have a clear mind.
“We’ll have to stand for ourselves because you have to do that against a Steve Evans teams, but we’ll do that in our way. We’re determined to be really focused and professional.”
Cowley is impressed by Mansfield’s summer recruitment and knows he will face a different side to the one they beat 3-1 at the One Call Stadium in the Checkatrade Trophy last month when both sides rested big guns.
“Mansfield are blessed with a huge squad - a fantastic quality of players,” he said.
“They’ve got real depth in their squad. They made 10 changes on the night so we’ll be expecting to see a very different team from them.
“It’s been well documented that they’ve been very aggressive in their recruitment. Steve Evans has proved time and time again that he has the ability to assemble a squad that is able to get promoted.
“We respect that and we will need to be able to compete with that. You want the players to compete. We’ve got a run of derby games.”
Cowley’s message to the Lincoln fans was: “Support us, don’t worry about Mansfield.
“Don’t get caught up with Steve Evans or his players. Put all of your energy, like you do week in, week out, into supporting us because that will make us better.
“That is what we want and what will be the biggest help to us on Saturday.
“Let’s keep conducting ourselves properly and representing this wonderful football club in the best possible way.”
Cowley maintains he was harshly sent to the stands in the Checkatrade Trophy game as he said it was Evans who had encroached into the Imps’ technical area in an aggressive manner, but has vowed to learn from the incident.
“As a young management team we are always learning and we took a lot from our previous encounter,” added Cowley.
“We intend to be really focused on our players’ and our team’s performance and not let any distractions affect this.
“We’ll have to stand up for ourselves because you have to do that against a Steve Evans team, but we’ll do that in our way.
“We’re determined to be really focused and professional and to give a really good account of ourselves.
“To do that we’ll need everyone, the players and management, to be focused if we are to get a positive result against a very good Mansfield team.”
He added: “We’ll be respectful of Mansfield and we’ll do our work on them technically, tactically and mentally so we know exactly where their strengths lay and how we can combat that. We’ll also look for areas we can expose.”