Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton isn’t expecting a ‘cagey’ affair v Sunderland in the EFL Trophy semi-final tomorrow night.

Lincoln won this competition in 2018, and Sunderland reached the final in 2019. It’s a clash between two of League One’s promotion hopefuls with Lincoln sitting in the top spot, and Sunderland now in 6th.

Speaking to the club ahead of tomorrow night’s game, Appleton was asked if he was expecting the trip to Sunderland to be a ‘cagey’ one. He said:

“Not really, even though one or more results matter I’m not really a cagey person, early on in my management that career that cost me.

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“I drew a lot of games because I was too adventurous, you could argue the other night was a prime example of that but ultimately that’s how I like to set out. I like my teams to try and play and go out and attack and score goals.”

Lincoln City have drawn their last two League One fixtures, against Hull City and Accrington Stanley last time out. The Imps took the lead with six minutes of normal time to play, but for Accrington scoring a late equaliser.

Despite that, Lincoln retain a four-point lead at the top of the League One table with a game in hand over 2nd-place Hull City.

Sunderland sit nine points behind Lincoln having claimed a top-six spot. Johnson has brought about a newfound attacking mentality at Sunderland, with striker Charlie Wyke benefiting most from that – he’s on 21 goals in all competitions this season having scored four in the EFL Trophy so far.

“I think Sunderland have not been short of scoring goals of late, especially one person,” Appleton said. “I don’t see it being cagey or a game that’s lacking in goals. I think it’s hopefully going to be an exciting game for the neutral.”

The winner of tomorrow night’s game at the Stadium of Light will face the winner of Oxford United and Tranmere Rovers who go in action tonight.