Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley has praised the job the Jon McCarthy has done at Chester FC .
The Blues travel to Sincil Bank this evening (7.45pm) to take on the National League leaders who have enjoyed a phenomenal season under the guidance of Cowley, reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup and semi-final of the FA Trophy.
For Chester it has been an up and down season, a sketchy start followed by excellent mid-season form, but the Blues have struggled badly since Christmas.
But Cowley insists that his opposite number tonight has done fine work at the Blues in his year at the helm and expects a tough test this evening from a Chester side who have won their last three away games but who have yet to win a home game in 2017.
Said Cowley, whose side need maximum points tonight to stave off the challenge from Tranmere Rovers: “Jon McCarthy we know very well. He’s a real gentleman, Jon, he’s a fantastic professional and always very, very competitive, always dignified in his approach and I’ve got a lot of time for Jon.
“He’s done fantastic there. He went in there this time last year and managed to keep them up and he took the momentum he gained from that into this season. I think they’ve had a good year, they’ve won their last three games 1-0 away from home, so they’ll be confident away from home. We’re expecting a tough game.”
And Cowley, who expects to include defender Sean Raggett in his squad tonight despite him having to see an emergency dentist after a blow to the face on Saturday, highlighted the players who he believes can cause the Imps problems.
“We respect their players, they’ve got some good players,” said the Lincoln boss.
“The two forwards have done well for them, James Alabi and (Kane) Richards. They’ve got Elliott Durrell who is a good footballer and always playing a half space and he is a very creative player. They’ve got physical defenders and we’re under no illusions about how tough it’s going to be. It’s a challenge that we embrace.”