Lincoln City Football Club parted company with manager David Holdsworth on Sunday, after a tenure that saw the Imps win just once in 11 games in the Blue Square Premier League.
Imps head of youth Grant Brown has been put in caretaker charge of the first team until a successor to David Holdsworth is appointed.
With a 26% win record in his time at the club, the board and Holdsworth have decided that a new direction for the club was needed. The club said the move was by mutual consent.
Holdsworth arrived at Lincoln City once Steve Tilson’s job came to an end in October 2011, after the club was relegated to the Blue Square Premier League from the Football League.
Holdsworth’s arrival was greeted with relative apathy, as the club needed a new direction since ex-Southend man Tilson saw the Imps relegated on the last day of the season into non-league football.
When Tilson was sacked, the Imps were ranked 19th with 12 points after 14 games. Now Holdsworth leaves the club 18th in the Blue Square Premier League, with 35 points after 31 games.
During Holdsworth’s 16-month tenure, over 75 players have been used at Lincoln City. This high figure is mainly down to squad members’ injuries and to the usual fluctuations with players at Conference level.
Reactions to Holdsworth’s departure
Some former Lincoln City players have taken to Twitter to voice their reactions on the ex-Mansfield manager’s departure.
Kidderminster defender Josh Gowling, whom Steve Tilson signed on loan in League 2 and then permanently once the club was relegated to the Blue Square Premier League, welcomed Holdsworth’s departure:
Best news I’ve heard all day, about time, yeeeeeeees! #simoncowellhead
— Joshua Gowling (@joshgowling) February 17, 2013
Darren Huckerby, who started his career at Lincoln City, seemed interested in the new vacancy at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium:
Full day of skiing done,just seen Lincoln City manager has left, do I apply for the job again? Maybe I’d get a email back this time?
— Darren Huckerby (@hucks6dh6) February 17, 2013
Meanwhile, author and sports broadcaster Alan Biggs still thinks that Holdsworth has a future in management:
Sorry to see that ex- #sufc skipper David Holdsworth has left Lincoln City. Still think a good manager in there.
— Alan Biggs (@AlanBiggs1) February 17, 2013
Life-long Imps fan Ryan Chambers felt Holdsworth deserved a bit more time in the job, and said: “I’m disappointed. I would have liked him to stay at least until the end of the season but it’s no surprise. I hope they don’t appoint Grant Brown.”
Who could be the next Imps manager?
Lincoln City said it would make no further comments on Holdsworth’s departure or replacement at this time. However, pundits and fans are putting several names forward.
Long-serving member of the coaching staff Grant Brown and Head of Youth Development Chris Moyses’ names have been mentioned as potential replacements for Holdsworth.
Ex-Scunthorpe manager Alan Knill is also another name being mused, as he is without a club at the moment, alongside recently deposed Preston North End manager Graham Westley.
Graham Westley’s experience after he took Stevenage from non-league to League 1 means that he would be a favourable appointment, however it remains unclear as to what route the board will take with this new gaffer.
Ex-Caretaker Manager Gary Simpson has also been mentioned by fans as a possible replacement for Holdsworth as he is out of work after being sacked at Macclesfield Town last year.
Ex-Lincoln City Captain John Nutter voiced his support of Brown and Moyses on Twitter:
Just the seen the Lincoln City news, I hope they give Grant Brown a proper opportunity, him and Chris Moyses can unite the club again
— John Nutter (@nutdog3) February 17, 2013