Who can steady the ship at the Bank?

Following a string of poor results, culminating in Saturday, February 16th’s 3-2 defeat away at Hereford, manager David Holdsworth has parted company with Lincoln City, 15 months after joining the club.

Grant Brown has been confirmed as the caretaker manager for the Imps, but will he receive the job on a permanent basis? Photo: Tom Larken.

The Linc assesses the potential candidates for the role:

Steve Thompson

A man who certainly knows the club well, Thompson made over 200 appearances for Lincoln in the 1980s, before spending two and a half successful years as manager in the early 1990s.

Since then, Thompson has regularly been linked with a move back to the Imps; however fans remain split over his return. Those for Thompson’s return as manager point to the successful years that he spent as a player and then as a manager.

Whilst his continued affiliation with the club, as a BBC Lincolnshire summariser for some games has ensured that he’s kept a close bond with the fans, along with knowing the squad already.

On the other hand, those against Thompson’s return would prefer to see the club look forward rather than back, and use his disappointing 16 month spell in charge of Notts County, along with the five year absence from management that has followed, as evidence that he no longer has what it takes as a manager.

Whether Thompson is interested in the job, either permanently or in a temporary role until the end of the season, is yet to be seen.

Gary Simpson

Another man well known by the fans, Gary Simpson was assistant manager to Keith Alexander when Lincoln reached the League 2 play-offs in four successive seasons.

This history with the club ensures that Simpson is a favourite with the fans and, although Simpson’s last managerial role was an unsuccessful spell in charge of Macclesfield, he remains a strong contender for the role.

Simpson has already revealed his desire to take over following Holdsworth’s departure, and with his affinity with the club, Simpson is one of the favourites for the job.

Grant Brown

Something of a club legend, Brown made 462 appearances for the Imps in a 13 year spell, thus making him the record appearance holder.

Brown now works as Head of Youth at the club; however Holdsworth’s departure means that he is now entering his third spell as caretaker manager of the club. The former Imps’ skipper is held in high regard by the fans, and many wish to see him given a shot at managing the club, if only until the end of the season.

The appointment of Brown would provide stability at the club at a crucial time of the season and, with the club hovering just four points over the relegation zone, asking a former club captain to take the reins until the end of the season could well provide a source of inspiration for the current crop of players.

Simon Clark

Although currently in charge of Northern Premier League side Worksop Town, Simon Clark, like Simpson, is one who has already confirmed his interest in the job.

Already known to the Imps’ fans due to his history as a Lincoln City coach and caretaker manager, he would fit the bill for fans hoping for a local man to take charge, having been born and bred in Lincolnshire.

Following Peter Jackson’s departure in 2009, Clark was considered for the role as manager; however the club opted to go down a different route and Chris Sutton was appointed instead.

Now, however, with a few years of managerial experience under his belt, and having built a strong Worksop side currently challenging for promotion to the Blue Square North, Clark would appear to have a résumé capable of challenging favourites Thompson, Simpson and Brown.

Dean Windass

An outside shout for the job, Dean Windass is yet to make any headway in his desire for a career in management.

Following a successful playing career spanning two decades, and having overcome personal problems, he now sees Lincoln City as an ideal place to start his managerial career and has thrown his hat into the ring for the role.

His inexperience however may put off chairman Bob Dorrian, who may prefer to look at an experienced manager to ensure that Lincoln steer clear of relegation.

John Coleman

Following a long playing career in the lower leagues, Coleman made a name for himself in a 12 and a half year spell as manager of Accrington Stanley.

In this tenure, he oversaw three promotions, taking the club from the Northern Premier League First Division to League 2, and it is this job which means that he is seen as an ideal replacement for Holdsworth by the Lincoln fans.

Despite a disappointing 12 month spell at Rochdale which followed, Coleman may well still see himself as capable of taking over a team in the Football League, thus potentially making him reluctant to take over a team in Lincoln’s plight.

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