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Harry Anderson eyeing more Papa John’s Trophy success with Lincoln

Lincoln City v Bristol Rovers – Sky Bet League One – LNER Stadium
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Harry Anderson is targeting more Papa John’s Trophy success with Lincoln after admitting his team-mates are bored of him talking about their 2018 title run.

The Imps travel to Shrewsbury for a second-round tie on Tuesday that is a repeat of the final two years ago.

Winger Anderson is the only player in the current squad who was at Wembley that day, and he told the PA news agency: “This is my fifth season now and I seem to be the lone survivor.

“They probably get a bit bored of hearing about it. I just go on about that, the FA Cup run, things like that. We’ve got quite a young squad now and I know how I felt being able to play at Wembley. Hopefully we can go again.”

It has certainly been an exciting few seasons at Lincoln, with the previous season including a run to the FA Cup quarter-finals and promotion back to the Football League, and they went up again to League One in 2019.

They now have the Championship in their sights, but playing at Wembley stands out as a memory for Anderson, particularly because it ended with a 1-0 victory and silverware.

The 23-year-old had never been to the stadium before, and he said: “You don’t realise how big it is until you’re stood in the middle of the pitch. When all the fans are there as well, it is unbelievable. I think I had about 50 tickets for all the family. It was a special day.”

Lincoln sit second in League One, two points behind Hull, and could be assumed to have bigger fish to fry, but Anderson certainly does not see the Papa John’s Trophy as an afterthought.

He said: “Being able to play at Wembley is a massive achievement so you definitely can’t take it lightly, I feel like you have to take it pretty seriously.

“There’s no reason we can’t do well in this cup. It’s nice to have as many points on the board as we have but I feel like we’ve got a really big chance this season so hopefully we can keep the ball rolling.”

Since 2016, the competition has included 16 Under-21 teams from Premier League and Championship academies.

Lincoln beat Manchester City’s Under-21 side in the group stage this season while in 2017/18 they defeated Chelsea on penalties in the semi-finals.

Anderson enjoys the challenge, saying: “You know with the way they’re being taught and told to play, they play a lot of football, pretty football sometimes, and when you’re playing up against it, it can be quite difficult because they’ve got some really good young players.

“In our league, it’s quite physical, you have to try to take those sort of teams to try to, not bully them, but say welcome to proper football.

“When we played in the semi-finals against Chelsea there was (Callum) Hudson-Odoi, who’s played for England, Reece James, who plays every week for Chelsea, so there’s big names there. Sometimes I think what have I done wrong? But it’s obviously good to see, they’re technically very gifted.”