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Peter Gilbert focused on helping kick-start Lincoln City's 2013

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

Desperate for a game: Peter Gilbert has been frustrated by a month of inactivity due to postponements, illness and injury

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Peter Gilbert has underlined the need for greater focus from Lincoln City as they aim to shake off their winter malaise.

The influential left-back is poised to push for a starting place on Saturday against Dartford after a month of inactivity.

He is determined to get the team back on track after a stop-start January in which Lincoln picked up only two points and saw three of their games postponed.

Those postponements, along with injury and illness, has left Gilbert kicking his heels for too long, but he knows that when he does come back he must not let his frustration override his concentration.

"It's been crazy. I've spent about a month without getting on the pitch, but only 10 days of it were down to injury," said Gilbert.

"We are all getting very frustrated with the conditions. You train hard all week, get yourself prepared physically and mentally for a game, and then you get a call to say it is off.

"You go through it all again, only again to get another postponement. It is frustrating beyond belief.

"I've got so fed up with trying to predict what is going to happen with the cold and snow that I'm not even bothering to look at the weather forecast now.

"However, we cannot let this frustration dull our focus and we have to make sure that when we do finally get out there that we get our heads straight and focus on the job in hand."

And for Gilbert, the focus is dealing not only with a high-flying Dartford side, but also the conditions.

More snow and ice has been forecast for the rest of the week, causing more damage to football surfaces across the country.

As a result, Gilbert is conscious that the Imps' style of play is going to be dictated by the conditions of a pitch as much as the opposition.

"At this time of year you can really come undone because of the playing surface," said Gilbert.

"When the pitch gets soggy and is bobbly then mistakes can happen. You need to lower that risk and start to think about only playing football in the right areas.

"It is horses for courses. Ideally you want to get the ball down and play, and if your opposition wants to do that then you can too. However, if the opposition is going direct you need to match them in certain areas to make sure that you don't get caught out."

And with that in mind, Gilbert even questioned if postponements had been necessary in some cases, especially the Imps' last one at Braintree Town.

"If I'm honest, I don't know why we didn't just play against Braintree," said Gilbert.

"From what I understand the pitch is not the best anyway, so why don't we accept that it will be a bit of a bog and just get on and play.

"Both teams have to go out on it and deal with the conditions. Nobody would have got an advantage out of it.

"I think we're getting to the stage now where we just want some games, want to get some points, and get this year started properly."

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