Lincoln City’s relegation worries are over. It has certainly been a traumatic season, with the loss of a club legend in Keith Alexander providing the backdrop to a year that started with optimism, but quickly became a fight for survival.
Peter Jackson’s reign came to and end, loan players came and went and former Celtic and Blackburn forward Chris Sutton came in to cut his managerial teeth. Those concerns have now been allayed and victory over Bury this weekend means that Sutton has ensured that the Imps will play League Two football next year.
The relieved Imps manager said: “I think, on balance, we probably didn’t deserve to win the game. I think it has to be said – and I haven’t made too much of it – that we have had a horrendous situation in terms of injuries. We thought Nathan [Baker] was going to be fit for today, but I have to say David Stephens came in and was possibly man of the match.
“It’s been tough coming in, but I got the job for a reason. We need to be far better next season. I think there are a lot of things we need to sort out. It hasn’t been good enough, but we’ve had to play they hand we were dealt, and the loans have been a great help. I think it’s safe to say that without Davide Somma, we probably wouldn’t be in this division next season.”
Indeed, Somma’s arrival at Sincil Bank on loan from Leeds has proved an astute piece of business for Sutton.
After the game, the South African forward said: “It [his eight goals] has [made a difference] and I’m just happy I could help this team out. The lads are great and they’ve done really well.
“It was hard and intense training this week and it’s paid off. You can’t underestimate how important it was. Chris Sutton told us at half time to relax and let the game open up so we could get in behind their [Bury’s] defence and that’s how we hurt them. One ball, one chance was all we needed.”
Another player to make a massive impact this weekend was David Stephens, who made his debut after arriving on loan from Norwich. He was delighted with his first game and City’s first clean sheet since December 5th.
He said: “You can’t argue with a clean sheet, and we’re all really happy with it. We had to be switched on a hundred per cent for the whole game. It had been drummed into us that we hadn’t had a clean sheet and if you can do that and nick a goal it’s a perfect win.”Tweet