Lincoln City manager Chris Sutton has praised Imps midfielder Stefan Oakes after he handed him the captain’s armband in Saturday’s one-nil win over Aldershot at Sincil Bank.

The 31-year-old was largely rumoured to exit the club at the end of last season after being made available for transfer under former Imps boss Peter Jackson following an inconsistent first campaign.

But the left-footed playmaker has been given a new lease of life under the new regime and started last weekend’s match in the centre of midfield as skipper after usual captain Scott Kerr was left out of the starting line-up.

Imps boss Sutton says he hopes to utilise Oakes’ full potential: “In my mind in this league I don’t know if there is anyone with Stefan’s talent, he’s got a left foot that players in higher leagues would dream of.

“I want to get the best out of him and win games. I think a fit Stefan Oakes is a fantastic asset to Lincoln City.”

Oakes, who signed from Wycome Wanderers in the summer of 2007, is looking to repay the faith shown in him by the former England international.

“He told me in the office I was starting which I was happy about and then to be made captain was very pleasing as well.

“I think if someone gives you the captain’s armband it does give you a confidence boost.”

Sutton’s side head to ex-Lincoln City boss Keith Alexander’s Macclesfield this Saturday and the Imps boss is desperate to keep his players – and the fans’ – feet on the ground following their impressive one-nil victory last time out.

“It was a decent result but the main thing is that gone now and we need to knuckle down and concentrate on the next game.

“The biggest thing we have to guard against is everyone getting carried away after one result. It’s good that we have the confidence up but we are still a long, long way from where we want to be.”

City will be without a number of key players for their trip to Moss Rose, with defender János Kovács facing suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Aldershot and right-back Cian Hughton being away on international duty for the Republic of Ireland under 21 squad.

Long-term absentees Paul Green, Joe Heath and Paul Connor are still sidelined.