Ambitious Tilson outlines his plans for Lincoln City

The mood around Sincil Bank is buoyant as Lincoln City welcome its third manager in as many years, Steve Tilson, to the club.

The former Southend United manager has taken the reins after he was placed on gardening leave following a hugely successful seven-year stint in his native Essex.

Keen to instil a positive atmosphere at the club, the fans’ favourite for the job was bullish about the task ahead of him and compared Imps’ current situation to that of the Southend side he inherited in 2003.


New Lincoln manager Steve Tilson hopes to replicate his success with Southend at Sincil Bank. Photo: Tom Farmery

Tilson told the assembled reporters at Sincil Bank: “It’s a very similar situation to when I took over at Southend. I think we were third from bottom in Division Two. Obviously, it might take a bit of time and we’ve got a bit to sort out, but we’re both [Tilson and his assistant, Paul Brush] positive people and I’m sure we’ll give our best and hopefully that’ll be good enough. It’s a big challenge, and it’s one I’m really looking forward to.

“With the right team spirit, anything can be achieved,” he added, “Blackpool are in the Premiership, which is incredible considering the wages they’re on. At Southend, we got up [to the Championship] on a minimal budget, and Scunthorpe are in the Championship too. If you get the right blend and the right team spirit, it can be done for sure. It’s one step at a time. Obviously, we’ve got to make sure we get 52 points. That’s my first aim, and we can build from there.”

One area Tilson is immediately looking to address is the Imps’ woeful form in front of goal, which has seen them strike just seven times all season.

He said: “It could be the case that I may need to put my arm around one or two shoulders. I’ve had a chat with a few players. Gavin McCallum may need an arm round him, a quiet chat.  Ben [Hutchinson] needs to do one or two things to improve his game, but I’m sure he can score goals.

“It’s just over a two or three week period assessing them. If they don’t do it, then we’ve given them the opportunity and we might have to bring one or two loan players in.”

However, Tilson was keen to emphasise that he will not unnecessarily make wholesale changes and underlined the club’s need for stability.

“You need continuity throughout the team. A new manager comes in and, generally, they will chop and change it. I might not be looking to do that straight away. I may look to bring one or two new players in, but you need that continuity.”

One thing Tilson and his assistant, Paul Brush, will look to do straight away is familiarise themselves with the area and the community. The pair have pledged to “do the job properly” and relocate to Lincolnshire.

“I think it’s important that the players, myself and Paul get out there and do soccer schools,” Tilson said. “Whatever’s asked, we need to get out there and promote the football club.

“We’re happy to do that because we’ve done it before,” added Brush, “so we know how to make this a community club. We helped to do that at Southend, which is a large town. Now we’re in a city it’s a similar thing to get people to want to be part of and talk about Lincoln City.”

Tilson will take charge of his first Lincoln City game on Saturday when the Imps face Stockport on Saturday at Sincil Bank.

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