Hopefully, Imps can keep Ashley until the end of the season. (©PAphotos)
As the season grinds on, one cliché after another comes to mind, new dawn, turn the corner, that kind of thing and it’s obviously uppermost in the manager’s thoughts as he had two trialists organised to face Hull City on Wednesday in a reserve team fixture.
The fact that the two are a centre half and a goalkeeper should not come as a surprise to the fans although Djoumin Sangare withdrew from the game as he has agreed terms with Oxford United. The uncomfortable truth of the goalkeeper situation is that Joe Anyon needs some competition to concentrate his mind and he’s not going to get it from City’s current number two, goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite
The trialist in question is ex Peterborough stopper James McKeown and he comes very highly recommended by Boston United fans as he had a highly successful loan period with the Pilgrims.
They would love to retain his services but are realistic as to the prospects of that. Steve Tilson is also scouring the non league scene in an effort to boost the squad. City supporters will not object to that in view of the team that Keith Alexander managed to fashion out of mainly second chancers and never-had-a-chancers mined from non league and others cast offs.
Non league is not particularly a cheap option and City fans can’t afford to be too sniffy in any event in view of Lincoln’s current financial position and with gates dropping like a stone that is unlikely to improve soon. On this subject the board of directors have issued an investment pack to try to encourage funds into the coffers having searched far and wide for new directors to join the club.
Meanwhile, management duo Tilson and Paul Brush must prepare the squad for the not inconsiderable threat posed by Wycombe, next up at Sincil Bank. What frame of mind they will be in after losing against Hereford United in the FA Cup, a game they surely expected to win at a canter, is anybody’s guess.
The Imps match day squad is looking threadbare although at least Danny Hone will, presumably, be available again after the cup game. Adam Watts and Gavin Hoyte, again presumably, doubtful. The irony is Lincoln appear to have put their goal scoring woes behind them and, a rare bit of good news, Ashley Grimes has committed himself to the Imps’ cause until the end of the season, unless of course another club wants to buy him from Millwall.
This is balanced against the defensive crisis that has engulfed the team where injuries, lack of confidence, concentration, know how, call it what you will continue to beset the management. No one said it would be easy and the fans view is that we are in safe and experienced hands. Whether that will be enough, time will tell.
Tilson expressed his delight at capturing Grimes to the end of the season, saying: “Ashley has done ever so well for us. He's a very bright, very clever player and he's a very good finisher.
"We've just scored three goals at home, so at the moment we are not too bothered about up front. We are scoring goals. I'm a positive person and I want my teams to be positive, so that is good.
"But defensively we are not good enough. That's been a problem all season. It was a problem before I came here and it is something we have got to try to improve. Defence and midfield, no doubt about it, are the priority. That is where we need to strengthen."
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.