Simmo Can Bring Imps Play-off Chase Next year
There was shock on Tuesday night. Not at the result, as Wrexham came out 2-1 winners, but at the crowd, our lowest since the mid-eighties crisis. What a period that was. The Gilbert Blades issue saw ‘D’ or Directors resignation day, relegation and a massive lack of ambition that saw the Imps drop two divisions into the old Conference. But we bounced back under Murphy and, if Simmo has a budget similar to the one Holdsworth enjoyed, STMI’s money is on the play-offs next season.
As many Imps know, STMI and the Sincil 4 are banned from home games. We feel the frustration of the 3,000 alienated Imps, those who feel their voices have fallen on the deaf ears of the Supporters Trust and other custodians. But even though we all feel things are not right, this club is ours, we Imps can and will rise again.
Keep the faith this season, at least make Nuneaton, even if you do feel that the sub par performances do not warrant your hard earned cash. A win there will put The Mighty Imps 5 points from safety and the goal of staying up will be just the stepping stone we need. Why? Because destiny’s child – the Murphy game changer we have missed – is here. Have faith that he will fight the fires this season and then kick-on next.
A club in turmoil is already breathing a huge sigh of relief. Father of The Imps Rob Bradley (bow thrice) visibly appeared back on the scene to give us a grand or so on Saturday. The optimism is back, the wheels are turning. Keep the faith fellow Imps. The sea change, on the pitch where it matters, is coming. That was what got the turnstiles clicking in the mid-eighties when even the top Division was struggling. Notts County were getting 6,000’s in the first Division, but a man and a mission united Impdom and the Imps returned in their thousands despite the distractions of a modern and reforming Britain shorn of jobs under a Government not that dissimilar in its community spirit to this.
Yes we need ambition at the top, but we have it with the manager and that can be far more fruitful when times are hard and money is scarce. This is the project Gary has long wanted, his life’s work prior to joining big mates Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher, in the afterlife. A realm where all is red and white with pink bits for the ladies, where every other day is Saturday (you have to have time to scout and train, even in heaven). In reality£450-£500,000 will be enough for Gary to get us to the play-offs next season. Incredibly that is just a thousand on the gate (2,600 average) would put £276,000 towards that total. Play winning football – even if it is not always pretty – and the Imps will come.
Management is perceived to be about luck. It is not, although it is far from a precise science, like the people’s game itself. It is about people skills and having the faith and strength in your convictions to get the best out of what you have. It is about utilising budgets, avoiding and calming dressing room rifts, being the shoulder to cry on; and developing players, young or old, for the benifit of the team. Consistency comes from above average sides, not ones where all star prima-donnas are irreplaceable when they go missing at vital times.
I am writing a book on a professional player at the moment. What comes across is the fortune element. Players are so reliant on the formation and the whims of the manager. But Gary is spoken about in glowing terms as a true football man. He comes up time and again for his honesty, his consistent and loyal approach. His desire to IMProve, not wreck, his culture of involvement; but above all a way of getting players to see his (and possibly Keith Alexander’s) way.
Lincoln City’s reverse can be likened to that of an oil tanker, one where it can take three miles to stop, even if the ship is put into full reverse. But if you have the contacts, there is a quicker will and a way. Simple values, an eye for talent and a crazy gang spirit got Macc to within a whisker of the play-offs after a massive win at rivals Port Vale last year. That was on a budget the same size as Holdsworth’s. The side was then sold from under him at Christmas with a horrendous spate of injuries. Though these things happen in football, both of these factors are unlikely to do so whilst Rob Bradley and The Mighty Imps have a breath left in their body.
We have a pulse ladies and gentleimps. 2013/14 will see the return of our proud and strong beating heart. A City such as ours deserves a professional Football League team. Gary’s knowledge of the non-league scene thanks to spells at Boston, Stafford, Weymouth, Altrincham (Damian Reeves please – approaching 30 this season again) and Gainsborough, his unique way of coaching, plus a little bit of luck, can and will get the Imps back on the right track where everyone else has failed.
|Date of birth||11 April 1961 (age 51)|
|Place of birth||Sheffield, England|
|Lincoln City||Manager until end of season|
|Tenure||P||W||D||L||Win Rate||Draw Rate||Loss Rate|
|Lincoln City||Nov 2003-Mar 2004||11||5||4||2||45.45%||36.36%||18.20%|
|Macclesfield||Mar 2010-Mar 2012||111||32||32||47||28.82%||28.82%||42.34%|
|Lincoln City||28th Feb -date||4||1||1||2||25%||25%||50%|
Simmo was also player manager at Gainsborough Trinity, but we do not have confirmed data for this.