LINCOLN make their first Valley Parade visit in over nine years in rude health.

Michael Appleton’s young side kicked off their League One campaign with an impressive 2-0 win over much-fancied Oxford.

Goals from Anthony Scully and Adam Jackson sunk last season’s beaten play-off finalists and followed on from their Carabao Cup first-round victory at Crewe.

Appleton has rejigged the Imps with 12 new signings – with the focus on bringing in younger players that he can develop. They include West Brom striker Callum Morton, who played such a crucial role in getting Northampton promoted from League Two at his previous loan spell there.

“The model of the club has changed and I think that’s why I was brought to the football club,” Appleton told Lincolnshire Live.

“To bring young players in, to help develop players, but also to try and win games and keep progressing.

“This isn’t going to have happen overnight. I think everyone knows that. It’s going to take two or three years to make sure we’re competing right at the top of the division.

“This season, if we can finish in the top half of the division, it would be progression.

“We then just have to try and keep progressing and getting better and better.”

City last played Lincoln in February 2011 when Peter Taylor’s side lost 2-1 at home. James Hanson scored early but the Imps hit back through Delroy Facey and Gavin McCallum.

Appleton is still looking to add one more to his current crop. He is in the market for a versatile forward.

He added: "We have to be creative and have players who can play in various areas of the field.”

“We’ve had to be really patient with signings, with players coming in quite late. Hopefully, they’ll be worth the wait.

“And if we do get the player we want, hopefully he’ll be worth the wait as well.”