David Holdsworth was all over the Lincolnshire Echo on Thursday morning in rather self congratulatory mode citing his wheeling and dealing and in particular reducing the club wage bill. This was certainly needed and probably satisfied his remit with the club but, whilst the position viz a viz the teams performance in the league has slightly improved the overall perception as far as the fans are concerned is that there has been very little to get excited about. The FA trophy offered an opportunity to make progress, just for once in a knockout tournament but this produced a flat feeling as the team put in a pathetic performance at Sincil Bank followed by a deserved elimination away at Carshalton.
That “display” in the trophy produced an impassioned reaction at half time and again on the final whistle as first the chairman and the board and later Holdsworth himself came in for criticism from a section of the home crowd fed up with the underperforming players. Of course Bob Dorrian emerged as some kind of a saviour some days later as details of the rescue investment emerged particularly as, in the same week, Darlington almost went under after years of mismanagement practically brought down this once proud league club. As a once proud league club ourselves we know how they feel and, whilst mismanagement is perhaps too strong a word Lincoln City have not exactly covered themselves in glory lately.
So David Holdsworth gives a “you’d be lost without me” type interview but is he right? Judging by the reaction in the paper and the views in the stands the jury is very much still out. Holdsworth states his primary objective is to keep the club in the division and there won’t be any arguments with that but who’d have thought that would have been the situation when City were relegated. Bob Dorrian describes relegation as totally unexpected but there will have been few fans dismissing that possibility as the end of last season panned out in all its awfulness. What has been a surprise is the total inability to progress in the supposedly easier division we now find ourselves in and the disadvantage financially over a lot of the other clubs in the league that City are experiencing. The restructuring and re financing that is taking place now, welcome though it is particularly when compared with clubs that are failing is mere papering over the cracks though and what is needed is a team that can enthuse Lincoln football fans and bring them back to Sincil Bank in much larger numbers. Can David Holdsworth produce that team? As fans we can only hope he can and wish him well.
To more pressing matters now and City are at home to Braintree Town on Saturday. A game for the taking but we thought that about Kettering last Saturday didn’t we? With the cold weather we’ve been having the match must be a doubt but the club were reporting on Friday morning that there should be no problem.
As expected from our master of pack shuffling, deadline day brought a plethora of signings and more names to familiarise ourselves with and faces to recognise. The constant to-ing and fro-ing will presumably now cease and City can start the process of putting out a settled side and finally make some progress up the division so that at least fans can have a decent end of season and go into summer with some hope in their hearts.
Supporters will be wondering just what team will be put out. Presumably City will be keeping it in the family by playing Jefferson Louis up front with Richard Pacquette. That’s something that should provide some excitement. Again, presumably, Danny Lloyd will be brought on to further test tired Braintree legs later on. We’ll see. At least we have something to look forward to. Hopefully those stay away fans will judge there’s something to get their coats on for. City can’t be doing with another gate like the last home turnout.
A vote of confidence is something to be dreaded usually when delivered by the board. Quite what it means when the manager delivers an endorsement of his own performance is anyone’s guess but, as always we will await developments with interest. If the manager delivers success then we will forgive any vanity. The other question though is, after the last few seasons what is success?