Lincoln City

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League 1
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Season Guide
2022/2023

Lincoln City

In


Carl Rushworth (Goalkeeper, Brighton & Hove Albion, Season-long loan); Sam Long (Goalkeeper, Drogheda United, Loan recalled); Jay Benn (Defender, FC Halifax Town); Paudie O’Connor (Defender, Bradford City); Sean Roughan (Defender, Drogheda United, Loan recalled); Charles Vernam (Midfielder, Bradford City); Danny Mandriou (Midfielder, Shamock Rovers); Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Midfielder, Stoke City, Season-long loan)

Out


Josh Griffiths (r) (Goalkeeper, West Bromwich Albion, Loan ended); Brooke Norton-Cuffy (r) (Defender, Arsenal, Loan ended); Cohen Bramall (r) (Defender, Rotherham United); Max Melbourne (sp) (Defender, Morecambe); Conor McGrandles (r) (Midfielder, Charlton Athletic); Lewis Fiorini (sp) (Midfielder, Manchester City, Loan ended); Liam Bridcutt (sp) (Midfielder, released); Theo Archibald (Midfielder, Leyton Orient); John Marquis (sp) (Attacker, Bristol Rovers); Morgan Whittaker (r) (Attacker, Swansea City, Loan ended); Liam Cullen (r) (Attacker, Swansea City, Loan ended)

Last season was a season too far for Lincoln City, who flirted with relegation for the first time in over a decade. Michael Appleton had clearly over-achieved with the resources at his disposal having guided them to the League One play-off final in 2021 and a repeat was never on the cards after a poor start to the last campaign. It got worse as his small squad was hit by a succession of injuries and there were real concerns about relegation before they eventually finished 12 points above the drop zone. Appleton had had enough however and left in the summer to take over at Blackpool. Rookie Mark Kennedy has been appointed as his successor and has been busy adding to his squad during the close season. Goalkeeper Carl Rushworth will spend the next season on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion and has lots of potential. He had raided Bradford City for centre-back Paudie O’Connor and winger Charles Vernam and looked to his native Ireland for the capture of midfield playmaker Danny Mandriou from Shamock Rovers. Several influential loan players have returned to their parent clubs whilst the departures of full-back Cohen Bramall and midfielders Conor McGrandles and Liam Bridcutt are a big blow. Bridcutt was hugely influential but missed most of last season through injury. Centre-backs Adam Jackson and Joe Walsh remain despite having also missed large parts of the season through injury and keeping them fit will be just one of Kennedy’s many challenges this season.

Target


Survival. This will be a tough first year in management for Kennedy, with a tight budget and tricky act to follow in Appleton.

Season Review
2020/2021

№5: Lincoln City

An excellent season ended in disappointment for Lincoln City after they were beaten by Blackpool in the League One play-off final at Wembley. The loss will have done little to harm Michael Appleton’s reputation as he guided the unfancied Imps to the play-offs despite being hit by a budget cut due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He adopted a pragmatic approach, albeit with inherent risks, as he relied on a small squad of players, bringing in quality young loan players that he wouldn’t have been able to sign permanently. They made a superb start to the season; losing just one of their opening ten league matches. They were hit by an outbreak of Covid-19 in their squad not once, but twice, at the beginning of January and the end of March and it checked their momentum. Injuries also hit a small squad harder than most and they missed out on automatic promotion. They proved too strong for Sunderland in the play-off semi-finals but were nowhere near their best at Wembley as Blackpool got the better of them. It was a breakthrough season for Nottingham Forest loanee Brennan Johnson whilst West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Alex Palmer played all 46 league games. Liam Bridcutt played an integral role in the middle of the park and allowed playmaker Jorge Grant to provide the assists and score goals. He finished as joint-top goalscorer with Anthony Scully with 17 goals and was player of the season. Keeping hold of Appleton will be crucial if the Imps can go one better next season.


Player of the Season: Jorge Grant

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