Yesterday, all signals pointed to an exciting Monday of player arrivals, but a Lincolnshire Live interview with the boss has suggested that might not be the case.
Many people close to the club were expecting a reveal of at least one new face, especially given the Checkatrade Tropy game with Rochdale tomorrow. However, in a phone call with Mark Whiley, Danny revealed the players he is after are in a chain and he won’t bring substandard footballers to the club whom will only see us safe in the division.
“We want players who can get us promotion, but those players are not available to us here and now. We’re in a chain and, whether we like it or not, we’re at the bottom of the chain. When it does move, then we’ll be able to react to it but at the moment the players we want are still in contract and are wanted by their clubs. We have to respect that.”
Since the departure of Raggett and Dickie there has been panic on the social media sites, much of it unwarranted in my humble opinion. Last night rumours of an Alex Woodyard departure suddenly exploded, causing much more anger. To a degree it is amusing, people were getting angry over the fact something that hasn’t happened might happen and looking for someone to blame. To clarify, they were looking for answers to questions that hadn’t yet been asked.
Would I be surprised if Alex moved on? Of course not, he’s young and talented and at 24 he will be looking to take the next step. If it was Luton I’d be a touch disappointed, but they’re on a collision course with second-tier football at present and I guess that might be attractive to a young player especially one looking to be closer to home. The bedrock of our season has been Woodyard and Bozzie in front of the back four, losing him would be a massive blow. However, footballers move on and throughout history Lincoln City have let good players progress. If Danny moved to keep an ambitious player here, it would send out the wrong signal to others wanting to join. Like it or not, every single football club in the world, bar perhaps three, are a selling club at the right price.
That said, the general consternation and anger was a bit much last night, mere rumours and mutterings caused accusations of a mass sale. We all knew Raggett had moved and agreed it was good business six months ago, why now is it detrimental to our progress. Rob Dickie and Jordan Maguire-Drew had been on the edges of the squad anyway, JMD clearly not as good as our other three wide players and Dickie forced to sit out because of Raggs and Luke. I’m not sure Dickie and Waterfall was ever a viable option anyway, nor is Callum Howe and Luke. The players we’ve lost thus far are, Raggett aside, squad players at best. By the way, we’ve replaced one with a Championship player of undoubted quality in Danny Rowe.
Rumours abound that Josh Ginnelly won’t be back after his loan got reviewed by Burnley and that Alex might be moving on, but they’re rumours. We’re getting worked up into a lather over rumours. It would be delightful to have an announcement today, mainly to placate the eager fans who fear a side breaking up, but do Danny’s words sound like those of a manager breaking a squad up?
“I could have brought players in on January 1 but they wouldn’t have been good enough to get us to where we want to be. Many of the players that are available would allow us to retain our status in League Two, but we all want more than that.”
You know what? Lincoln City Football Club has never been the sort of attraction that brings a Ricky Miller or Christian Doidge in and, despite our FA Cup run, I don’t think we are now. Getting Bostwick was a one-off, getting Harry Anderson was simply good management, but I’m not convinced we’re going to pull of such big coups this month. We need good players, consistent players but we can only work at the level we’re at. Having money isn’t everything and, in the grand scheme of things, we’re not as rich as some think. I’ve debated with people as to why we shouldn’t spend £200k on a player, whereas many think we should. What, we should threaten our financial future for one stab at promotion? Peter Jackson did that you know, that resulted in six years of trips to Welling and Salisbury. Do you want that again? No thank you.
Last season’s great cup run has raised expectations but we must not forget our natural place. Right now we’re battling in the top seven of League Two and once, just one solitary season, in my entire 32 years of following the club have we been any higher. Two year ago we were battling at the bottom of the National League, the lowest point I’d ever seen in my 32 years at the club. That’s big jump in a short space of time and we must be realistic about expectation.
I know many of you won’t like to hear this, but we do have to be realistic about the speed at which we develop. Whilst on the field we’re taking great strides, we must not become expectant that off the field things will happen as quickly. Danny says always get angry about what you can control, not what you can’t. He can control the tactics on a match day, but much of the transfer activity is beyond his control. He can’t make clubs sell us their players, he can’t force greedy agents to encourage their players to be loyal to Lincoln. I fear we’re losing sight of where we are as a club, that includes me too. Danny hasn’t though and sometimes people take his words of caution with a pinch of salt. He’s clear where we are and what we want to do and it isn’t about loading up on expensive players, nor bringing in high numbers and hoping some stick.
“To get back-to-back promotions is an extremely difficult thing to achieve. That’s why you can count on two hands the number of clubs in the history of British football who have done it. So we’re not going to sign players we don’t think will help us move forward. If that means we have to go with less players for now, then we will do that. I just want the best for us and I don’t want to settle.”
The paying fans are still behind the club in numbers, but attitudes are as important as everything else. It’s January 8th, there’s 23 days of the window left and in the grand scheme of thing, I urge a degree of patience. I hoped to hear something today, all signs pointed to it, but if we don’t the world won’t end, we won’t be relegated and tomorrow is another day.
Danny quotes have been taken from the Lincolnshire Echo posting – full article here.