The articles have been few and far between over the last 48 hours or so as we prepared for, and delivered, a live podcast with Michael Appleton at the ground.
Social media has been awash with positive statements from those in attendance, with some fans who are critical when the need arises even impressed by what they heard from our manager. Over the course of two hours, we chatted about his career so far, influences, strengths and weaknesses. He looked very candidly at mistakes he’s made in the past and openly discussed the journey that has brought him to the dugout at Lincoln City.
One of the podcasts will be released tomorrow, the first hour dealing with his time as a player and his early coaching experience. As well as that, we’ve got Harry Toffolo talking Burton Albion and the usual banter the podcast has. Then on either Thursday or Friday we’ll drop part two, Michael’s management career looked over and the all-important chatter about the club right now. Liam Scully joins us for the last twenty minutes too, rounding off a brilliant two hours that hopefully will be a must-listen for all Imps fans.
As a taster though, a little appetite whetter than will surely get you wanting more, I’m bringing you some comments Michael made that raised a round of applause from the audience. We got around to talking about the challenge he faced here and I wanted to know if he felt stepping into the position previously held by a successful manager who had achieved our highest league position in two decades was a daunting challenge.
“When you’ve been through some of the stuff, I’ve been through in a football environment, it’s not that stressful,” replied Michael, and if you listen to the full podcasts you’ll hear exactly what he has been through to get here.
“I only go to a football club if I think I can improve it. I genuinely believe I can move the club forward; the job that’s been done before I got here was fantastic and will always be remembered by all the fans because it was such a good period.”
That may well be the case, but a relaxed Michael explained how that time has now passed. One era has ended and the future is mapped out in front of us, not defined by the past but yet to be shaped by the current group.
“It’s a different time now and different people. Over a period of time you’ll see different players and different squads. Everybody moves on in football.”
Michael then went on top give Oxford United as an example, a side who have struggled over the last two years but have now arrived at a point where their squad is shaped and poised for a promotion challenge.
Then came the bit that got a round of applause from the fans, Michael’s aim for his time in charge at Lincoln.
“I wanna make sure over the time that I’m here, the three and a half years I’m at the football club, by the end of my tenure we want to be in the Championship.”
No promises, not a bold and arrogant statement but a desire, a goal and an aim that was shared by the previous manager and is held by the whole board of directors and the fanbase.
There’s so much more great stuff to listen too; tales of Gary Megson and Eric Cantona, Michael’s experienced at Portsmouth in which he dealt with more in a year than some managers do in a decade. He’s open about his other management roles and find out why Sir Alex Ferguson called him to Carrington a couple of years ago for a huge bollocking.
Genuinely, this is a podcast you don’t want to miss out on.