Lincoln City boss to crack down on 'stupid tackles' in pre-season training
David Holdsworth will clamp down on "stupid tackles" this pre-season after revealing his fears at picking up needless injuries.
The Imps open their summer friendly campaign next Wednesday when they travel to Worksop in what is expected to be a tough fixture.
The Evo-Stik Northern League Premier Division outfit are managed by former Lincoln coach Simon Clark, who has a number of ex-Imps on his books.
It kicks off a busy campaign for Holdsworth, who will then travel to Eastwood Town the following weekend.
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But with the Imps operating on a squad of 21 players, five of whom are youngsters from the youth team, the City chief is down to limited numbers.
And he has issued his squad with strict instructions not to put themselves at risk by making unnecessary tackles.
"We only have a small squad which, in some areas, is extremely limited on cover," said Holdsworth.
"It's not so much a case of handling the players with kid gloves, it's about them making correct decisions and using their heads.
"The last thing I want to see is someone dive in for a tackle and end up putting themselves on the treatment table.
"We just don't have the numbers to compensate and I don't want to have a major problem before a ball has been kicked in the league.
"Of course, we are trying to add to the squad but in the meantime it's about the players using common sense.
"And if they come up against a player trying to make a name for himself don't get involved.
"Anybody who doesn't abide by that and puts themselves at risk will be spoken to."
Holdsworth is expected to give all of his new recruits a run out which will give fans a tantalising glimpse of what they can expect next season.
That will mean Paul Farman, Andrew Boyce, Gary Mills, Adam Smith and Rob Duffy will be handed their debuts.
While the City boss would love to oversee a victory in the first friendly, he says he is more concerned with his new players building their understanding.
"The most important aspect of any pre-season is not so much the results," he said.
"Don't get me wrong, I would obviously love to win every game if we could.
"But what I want to see more than anything is the players working on their communication and building an understanding.
"The first game of the season is just under a month away and it's vital the new players come in and settle into their surroundings.
"That's what I am looking for and also working on improving their fitness levels and working to a high standard.
"Although to be fair to the players they all had a plan to work to over the summer as well as a targeted weight to achieve.
"And to be fair to them all, they've been excellent."