A few days ago, Lincoln City vice chairman Chris Travers offered a frank explanation of Lincoln’s falling gates.
"We have to provide a reason for supporters to come and watch us but at the moment we're not, and there's no point in pretending otherwise," he said.
Strictly speaking, he was wrong. The Imps have scored some spectacular and memorable goals this season and there have been good spells of more than decent football but of course fans will not turn out in numbers in the hope of such entertainment if the expectation is that the team will lose.
Thankfully that was not the case on Saturday and the Imps recorded a win for the first time in five starts. Strangely, for this correspondent, that merely served to underline the enormity of the task ahead of the team and management and indeed supporters, for City remain rooted at the foot of the table.
The importance of this win cannot be overstated, however for the one thing in their favour is the number of games in hand over their rivals. If points are being picked up, happy days, if not then those games in hand are neither use nor ornament. Saturday’s game provided not only good goals but a win and inflicted, if not a mortal blow, then a savage dent in the hopes of one of their main protagonists in the battle to avoid the dreaded drop.
Stockport has not been a happy hunting ground for Lincoln over the years and we now move on to another venue that has offered very slim pickings for the Imps, Cheltenham, where City have not had much luck even with a successful team. The players must adopt the mindset that winning now is the norm and believe that they can do it.
Rather like a skydiver, Lincoln must not pay too much attention to what is to come as the fixture list makes daunting reading but the management will be impressing upon the team that survival is in their hands and a decent return on the extra games will see them safe.
They have a new weapon in their armoury, Delroy Facey has been sharpening up his “once more unto the breach dear friends” oratory and, in his capacity of stand in skipper on Saturday delivered a team talk to his fellow players any general would be proud of as hat trick hero Ashley Grimes revealed.
"He pulled the lads together for a huddle before kick-off and he's been a top man to be fair," he said. "He just told us how massive this game was for the club and how it was so important that we did not get beat.
"Del underlined how crucial it was that we dug in and looked after each other and we managed to do that.”
That spirit, that leadership is what is required and a seasoned professional rises to the challenge. Del, we salute you - more of the same please.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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