Having played, watched and written about football for over 50 years I believe I know the difference between higher league players and those who ply their trade at a lower level.

It is not necessarily a gap in fitness levels or teamwork.

It is speed of thought.

A top class footballer knows where to pass the ball well in advance of receiving it.

He knows all the options open to him.

When I played at youth level for professional clubs I could tell even then those players who had that gift.

It was more than a footballing brain. It was instinct.

A prime example of such a player is Wayne Rooney in his heyday (and still now at times!)

Lincoln City therefore must not give Burnley time to think. They must press, harass and put relentless pressure on the opposition.

What’s more, the Imps have their own football brains in action, namely Matt Rhead and Alex Woodyard.

Danny Cowley would have worked all this out far quicker and far more effectively than me.

That’s why I am confident his team can return with the spoils.


Peter Hayward


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