Imps manager Michael Appleton has poured scorn on the rumours linking him with a move to Bristol City.
The popular D3D4 website suggested he was a target for the Robins as they look to replace Lee Johnson, but he’s refuted that. Speaking to the Lincolnshire Echo, Michael confirmed there had been no contact, nor did he expect any as he focuses on the season ahead.
“The only background I can think of is the CEO of Bristol City used to be my CEO at Oxford,” he told the Echo. “People are putting two and two together and coming up with all sorts of numbers.
“The reality is I am looking to getting back to work with Lincoln on the grass and working as hard as we possibly can in pre-season. As far as I am aware if there is nothing in it. There has been no contact with me or anyone and I will be very surprised if that changes.”
The obvious link between him and the job is Mark Ashton, his former CEO at Oxford United who is now at Bristol City, but aside from that, there appears to be nothing at all to suggest this move is about to happen. What sets it apart from the usual rubbish rumour site is it came from D3D4, which is a respected authority on the lower divisions.
However, as I said in my Facebook Live yesterday, Michael is not a manager I can see making a jump to another club at this stage in his career. He built up something of a reputation with Oxford as a manager, moved on to coach top players at Leicester and is looking to put as much daylight as possible between him and the short stints at Blackpool, Portsmouth and Blackburn early in his career.
He’s eagerly signing up players such as James Jones and Lewis Montsma, as well as pursuing other targets, which suggests he is comfortable here. The future is exciting at Sincil Bank, current circumstances make it uncertain of course, but that is the same for all clubs. If you look at the business that is being done here and then take into account the wider EFL, we’re very proactive whereas many clubs are not in a position to be so outgoing.
Much of the current squad is already Michael’s after the winter clear-out and by the time we kick a ball in anger, this will feel much more like his set of players, not the ones he inherited. For a man confident in his abilities and targeting the Championship, that must be exciting and there would be no reason to think of another move.
I also believe, given the flat out denial today, that he will always be as transparent as possible when it comes to such matters. Michael is a straight talker, there is never an angle or anything, just the facts delivered as they are. I respect that and believe if something were afoot (which it isn’t), Michael would be open and honest.
Here’s to the future.