Friday, 26 April 2019
The best of times.
There was an element in the crowd at Carlisle trying to encourage a Nicky Cowley fist pump. There was no way that was going to happen. To be fair I think the motivation was to say to players and management, look we’ve come all this way but we don’t want you to feel you’ve let us down. Actually come to think of it, for a variety of reasons that was the first league loss I’ve witnessed. My son used to play in a junior football team that won all the time and when they did finally drop a couple of point none of them knew what to do. It felt a bit like that last Friday.
Nevertheless I wouldn’t be surprised if that loss didn’t hit the managers hard because with it came the loss of a potential record as the Taylor side only lost four times over the season and that reverse took us to five.
All of which brings us, seeing as we’ve got nothing else to occupy ourselves with, who is the greatest manager? Taylor dragged the club from a seemingly never ending cycle of failure but his was a record ended with the fourth division title. We now know from his memoirs that he wanted to stay at Lincoln but was deterred by a perceived lack of enthusiasm, or at least inability to conjure up the necessary finance to underpin a tilt at further promotion. There’s no doubt the team, with very little tinkering, was capable of it.
Colin Murphy, who I sometimes think of as something of an unsung hero not only returned City to the football league but had another promotion to his credit and got the club almost to the Holy Grail of the championship (as it is now called). Murphy’s problems too can be partly attributed to boardroom upheaval, a depressingly familiar problem.
Each manager did foster great interest in the team but it is the Cowley brothers who have harnessed the enthusiasm, as well they might given the unprecedented level of success, to the extent that the present hierarchy can afford to invest in the club to keep the show on the road. Indeed the incumbents of the boardroom are determined to use this period, wherever it ends up, to enhance the standing and reputation of the club to make the likelihood of us descending back to those dark days less of a threat.
It is this harmony between boardroom, support and players that sets this management apart and of course, unlike the last time City played at the level they are about to, the Imps are not hamstrung by a lack of proper budget.
There are allegations, I really don’t know why they’re expressed in those terms, that City have somehow bought their way out of the division which is claptrap in my view but in any event why shouldn’t the manager who has the best support not have the best budget, if that is the case?
Anyway, we have to fulfil the remaining fixtures and as I write City will be at Bristol City training before tomorrow’s game at Newport County. That in itself is a sign of how far the club has progressed. Despite the dead rubber feel the Imps will still take with them the sort of following most clubs would give their eye teeth for.
As previews go that’s a bit sketchy I realise but you don’t come on here for that kind of thing do you?