Popular winger Harry Anderson is back at Sincil Bank until the end of the season in a shock loan deal. I suppose you probably already know that though, due to it being announced a couple of hours ago.
I for one am absolutely delighted, but we must remain cautious as well. Anderson had a great spell here before Christmas, he fitted in well with the Cowley method and he looked a real asset. I’ve used the words ‘direct and attacking’ about many of our wide players before, and it applies to Harry as well. He also has something perhaps Josh Ginnelly doesn’t, and that is good upper body strength. He’s perhaps more suited to a fight, he’s strong as well as quick and won’t be easily out muscled.
There is little doubt the 20-year old had a real impact after arriving from Posh in early August. His equaliser at Macclesfield was a key point of the season, it signalled an upturn in form and was the building block for a good run of consistent form. Three goals in four crucial games also helped keep the momentum going, not only hitting a winner against Wrexham and the only Imps goal in the 1-1 draw away at Bromley, but also smashing home the fifth goal as we thrashed Chester 5-2.
It was after a spell on the side lines he found his real form, but after starting in our win against Forest Green in November he made just two further appearances from the bench against Oldham and Tranmere. Rumours of an injury were confirmed as he returned early to Peterborough, although he was spotted back in the Imps crowd for our cup replay against Ipswich. Once he’d gone it never looked as if he’d be returning, Posh wanted him in their first team picture and there was a rumour of other Football League clubs wanting to take him on loan. He went with best wishes, earmarked by those that saw him for City as a player to watch in the future.
His road to recovery has been tough, as I mentioned in a blog earlier this week he has featured just once for Peterborough since heading back there. Gavin McCann fancies him as a full back, but his 62 minutes on March 11th against Oxford was not enough to force his way into the manager’s plans. Just a fortnight later he’s back in the red and white of City, and what fortnight it has been for us. Out of two cups and knocked off the top of the league, albeit with games in hand. We need some inspiration from somewhere, and young Harry might just be it.
I did mention caution earlier though, so here is the caveat. He’s played 62 minutes of football since we beat Tranmere 2-1 in December, and I’d wager he isn’t fully match fit. It took him a short while to acclimatise to the National League earlier in the season, and I don’t think he will make the sort of immediate impact against FGR that we know he can do. He’ll need a game or two under his belt before we start seeing the ‘old’ Harry Anderson. Our game is all about high energy, fast tempo and immense work rate, and having not played for three months he isn’t going to be able to give 90 minutes of blood, sweat and tears. I expect a couple of ‘impact sub’ appearances before he looks like forcing his way into DC’s first team plans.
Whatever his fitness, whatever his role and whatever football he might have missed, he is still a welcomed arrival and a really good signing. We know Harry Anderson and crucially he knows us. He knows the method, he knows what will be expected of him and most importantly he already knows what is expected by Danny and Nicky. It’s said that Harry ‘jumped at the chance’ to return to Lincoln, and why not? Under Gavin McCann he has been labelled as a right back, and his development is being stunted because of it. The best football of his career has been playing for us, in our system with the mentoring of our superb managers to benefit from. If I were him I would have been knocking on the manager’s door at Peterborough demanding a return to Lincoln City, a return to the environment that is most likely to see him begin to achieve the things we know he is capable of.
Welcome back Harry, I for one cannot wait to see you in an Imps shirt again.