The Black Cats are on the playoff hunt, currently sitting sixth in the League One table, but without much room for slip-ups as only three points separate fourth from eighth place.


The Imps on the other hand are eighteen in the table, but not overly threatened by relegation as they are eight points above 21st placed Gillingham, although a few losses in a row could be a cause for worry.



Neil is well aware that just like Sunderland, the Imps will head into the match looking to pick up points, even if it is only the Black Cats playing for the playoffs.


The Black Cats boss does not believe the Imps will have matching pressure with that of Sunderland, but he is not backing down from the challenge that imposes.



“Of course we need points to try and stay in the top six to stay in the hunt to try and get out of the league”, Neil said in a press conference ahead of the game against Lincoln City.


“I’m sure they need points for different reasons.



“Let’s be brutally honest, in this game coming up there is certainly going to be more pressure on us than there is on them.


“That’s fine because I knew that when I took the job.”


The Imps destroyed Sunderland’s promotion hopes last season, by beating them in the playoffs, and the Black Cats will be looking to make sure they are not responsible for it again.