Update Emerges In Lincoln City Managerial Search

Lincoln City chairman Clive Nates says that the club are in no rush to appoint a new manager following the sacking of Mark Kennedy last week.

The Imps decided to part ways with the 47-year-old following a run of poor form which had seen the East Midlands side plunge into the bottom half of the League One table. However, CEO Liam Scully later revealed that results were not the only basis for the decision, citing a number of factors which also included Kennedy’s scathing criticism of attacker Danny Mandroiu.

The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international was dismissed for a reckless challenge in the 1-0 defeat against Burton Albion earlier this month, with the former gaffer pulling no punches in the aftermath;

“We’re here to educate him and help him, not destroy his talent. I don’t know where he’ll be in five years, he could be in the Championship, he could be back in Ireland.

“If he changes his mentality and there’s structure to his game, he’s got incredible talent and he can go wherever he wants to go – but if he doesn’t change that, he’ll just be another statistic.

“He’s a really good professional, he’s a really good person. I’m just trying to educate him that the higher you go up, the more structured it is, the more detailed it is.

“When you look at the top managers, the top teams, they play with incredible discipline which Danny doesn’t have in his game but he’s got the capabilities to change that, so the ball’s in his court.”

Ultimately, this proved to be the former Liverpool and Manchester City man’s final action at the LNER Stadium and first-team coach Tom Shaw was appointed on an interim basis whilst a new manager was found.

Lincoln have subsequently enjoyed the ‘new manager bounce’, winning back-to-back league games for the first time since August, including an impressive 3-1 win over Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night. This has led to Shaw being considered one of the favourites to secure the role on a full-time basis, although Nates has refused to be drawn into the speculation. Speaking to BBC Radio Lincolnshirehe said;

“With Tom, the whole focus is producing results on an interim basis.

“I don’t want to comment if Tom is in line for the job or whether any other candidates are in line for the job. It’s just not fair on Tom or any other candidate if I do so.

“In making the decision to part with Mark, we always had confidence that Tom and the team supporting him would be OK in the interim.

“We think Tom will be an outstanding head coach, we have full faith in him and we can see that clearly tactically, with the way team selection was handled last night (Tuesday) and the commitment and quality of the players.”

Former gaffer and club legend Danny Cowley continues to be linked with a return to Sincil Bank, whereas League of Ireland pair Stephen Bradley and Damien Duff are also thought to be under consideration. Nates said that he is in no rush to appoint a permanent successor;

“We do have time to make the right decision.

“We have a database of probably a few hundred managers that have been monitored. Obviously some work has been done on those we thought might be a candidate in the future.

“In addition to that, a number of managers or head coaches, either directly or through their agents, have contacted either myself, Liam (Scully) or Jez (George) through various means.

“Then it’s a case of looking to see, of those applications, whether we had thought of that person as being somebody that might be interested in the job.

“There have been one or two that have been added to the list, that we were looking at previously.”

Lincoln’s upturn in results has seen them move back up to ninth, just two points behind sixth-placed Blackpool. They will be hoping to make it three successive wins on Saturday when they travel to Exeter City.

Writer’s View

Lincoln are one of the better run clubs in English football and it is no surprise to see them taking their time in this decision. The Imps will be looking to make a long-term appointment, but one must wonder whether they are waiting for the conclusion of the League of Ireland season next month.

Tom Shaw will certainly have done his prospects no harm and the attacking intent shown by his team on Tuesday night against Charlton showed exactly what this squad is capable of. There are still a number of players yet to return from injury, meaning things could only get better at LN5 and it will be interesting to see what route the board go down. Do they take a chance on a young, up-and-coming manager like Shaw, or do they opt for the experience of Cowley et al?

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