Another Sunderland game, another emergency goalkeeper drafted in at the 11th hour.
Lincoln City have brought in Josef Bursik from Stoke City on an emergency loan. First choice stopper Alex Palmer has been ruled out of Wednesday’s play-off first leg with concussion.
The League One goalkeeping merry go round sure is enough to make your head hurt.
Bursik’s appearance in the Lincoln XII will be the fifth time that Sunderland have faced a ‘keeper making his first appearance on an emergency basis during this campaign alone.
To make it even more mind-spinning, Bursik has already played against the Imps for two different opponents this season. The England U21 stopper was in goal for Peterbrough when they faced Lincoln earlier this month, and was between the sticks when Michael Appleton’s team played Doncaster in October.
Sunderland seem to have become a favoured opposition for the parachuted-in goalkeeper. We also faced QPR goalie Joe Lumley immediately after he joined both Doncaster in October and Gillingham a month later - both occasions on an emergency basis.
The rules are the rules of course, and hey ho Lincoln have made the most of them, despite having alternative ‘keepers available and named in their playing squads.
Does it give Lincoln any advantage in tomorrow night's fixture? You could argue their latest recruit will be stood behind an unfamiliar back line for one thing. And he has already conceded three against us. But it possiby doesn't do their chances any harm to have been able to whisk in a Championship goalie with England U21 experience. And one who has kept a good chunk of clean sheets in the league above us this season when playing for his actual parent club.