Who next? We look at two possible candidates for the Lincoln City manager’s role

Gareth Ainsworth


Courtesy Graham Burrell

This is an obvious shout, but one that isn’t likely at all. Wycombe are on a real high right now and it could easily be argued that a move to us would be a step down for Gareth.

That wouldn’t change the fact he would be a great manager here. He’s proven his ability to switch styles with ease, exactly as Danny and Nicky did with us. He’s got a Wycombe side playing nice football right now, when in previous years they’ve been the kings of aggression and long ball. He’s a charismatic character too, someone who can sweet talk players into joining, just as our previous manager did.

Not only that, but he would arrive with a ready-made reputation and that could be important. Taking over from DC is a tough challenge and a manager will need every bit of goodwill he can get to do it effectively; Sir Gareth already has that with Lincoln fans. He’s already ‘someone’ here, a figure we adore and admire, a player who will always be fondly remembered.

He’s been playing a 4-3-3 and a 4-1-4-1 this season, both formations that we could accommodate with our current squad. The problem arises if we lean towards a manager who likes 4-4-2 or 3-5-2, because outside of the ‘2’ we don’t have squad depth. Under DC it wasn’t as much of an issue as they never played two up top, but if a new face comes in who wants to shuffle the pack, it’s a problem.

Getting Gareth Ainsworth to come to Lincoln would be a coup bigger than any of our summer signings. Wycombe wouldn’t want him to go, but if Clive Nates managed to charm him into the dugout then I suspect the transition between DC and him would be as smooth as pint of Guinness.

You can read more about my views on Gareth Ainsworth here


  1. I’m pretty much in agreement with this. Avoid those on the material merry go round at all costs. The only other name I would throw into the mix is if…… and it is an if….. Stoke decide they want to move on from Nathan Jones.

  2. Think I can can guess who might be on the thanks/NO THANKS thing you do when we next play Huddersfield 😪

  3. My preference would be Michael Flynn as I don’t think we will be able to tempt Gareth away.
    Phil Parkinson has to also be a reasonable shout if we can’t get Gareth or Flynn

  4. Cant believe for a minute that Ainsworth would leave Wycombe with what he has built there. Not sure Flynn would want to come either, but agree they are the right profile. Need experience, but not a regular in the ‘sack race’.

  5. It is one thing taking a punt whilst in National League with the likes of the Cowleys …but we are in League One, a far different proposition. Nigel Adkins is a good man I am told but more importantly he is a quieter more circumspect individual who has considerable experience all the way up to the Premiership. It may be a mistake to go for a like for like personality. Adkins would be my choice. My guess is though that Clive will go for someone not quoted so far in Bookies lists!

  6. Flynn and Ainsworth only ones who could come in and do a job??? Don’t be in no doubt there are some very good people out there and much more qualified than the Cowleys and indeed the two you argue for!

  7. Gareth would be great, and cool to boot, crops up on 6 Music round table. But he’s got more of a budget this year and can’t see it happening.

    I think we’ll all be surprised, I can see young, ambitious and forward thinking no 2 from a Premiership or Championship club looking for a step into the manager’s role, Leroy Rosenior for example.

  8. This is all idealistic talk and asking long term loyal managers to move sideways.
    What about this week?
    Would Freck be a capable interim manager, with a remit to establish himself. Shacks might join the training staff in Jone 20

  9. We have come a long way. As much as I love him on comms, Steve Thompson used to be put in the ring as a semi serious consideration and I think was in for it at the same time as the Cowleys.

  10. Would we look at Ainsworth other than the fact he played here for two years? He played well but he is no more Lincoln through and through than Ben Fulcher. And in his 7 years of management he has one promotion in third place to his CV. When DC came they had something like 5 promotions and consistent play off success. And they were new and on the rise. I have nothing against Ainsworth but he is no better than Mark Robins or Nigel Adkins just to throw names out there. It is just that nonsense about an ex player being favoured. I hope Clive can do better than that.

      • I don’t want to constantly be critical but if Ainsworth had never been at Lincoln would he still be the very best of the best out there from League one and down you could get? When Danny came to us he had 6 promotions on his CV and proven success. As a full time manager Ainsworth has since 12/13 has 15th League 2, 22nd (avoided relegation on the final day), 4th (lost in the final), 13th, 9th, 3rd, 17th League one. Not saying it is awful as there is a playoff and promotion there. But there has to be better out there surely? I am just one of those people who hates this stuff about an ex player being the best. It has to be about their methods and we are already saying Ainsworth will change his style which we don’t for others.

  11. Spot on about Adkins Gary, lost it completely. Ainsworth would never leave Wycombe to come here, and appears Mrs Flynn doesn’t want to leave Wales. So who’s next in line?

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