It would be ignorant to suggest that the money from Lincoln City’s 2016/17 FA Cup run has led to where they stand today. A contributing factor, yes, but the efforts of staff and players alike should not be discredited. Two title-winning seasons in three years has meant that they will be plying their trade in League One next season. Furthermore, under the highly-rated Danny Cowley, it may not stop there.
A Monumental Year For Lincoln City
Lincoln City have dominated League Two for much of the 2018/19 campaign. It has been a season encapsulated by a 19 game unbeaten run. They have also maintained the top spot since the middle of December. A 0-0 draw at home to Tranmere Rovers secured them the League Two title. A fairytale season marked by the squad’s togetherness.
It is a squad that is filled with talented players. Several could player at a higher level than League Two, and several already have. Ten of Danny Cowley’s side have played at a higher level. That is excluding loan players, whom the current selection all join from higher ranked clubs. Experienced players who have played at a higher level could stand them in good stead for League One.
As with any side who wins the title, every player has contributed to the success. None more so than in front of goal, where 20 different players have contributed. John Akinde and Bruno Andrade have stood out, with 17 and 11 goals respectively. The two have formed a formidable partnership, and have both remained consistent for Lincoln City this season.
It is the now infamous Cowley brothers who should perhaps be given the most credit. They have delivered two promotions in their three seasons at the club. Even last season they were unfortunate not to make it back-to-back promotions, as they narrowly lost out in the play-off semi-finals. They have delivered consistent results this season. Just five defeats all season, only one of which has come at home.
What Next in League One?
Mid-table would be seen as a success for Lincoln. They are returning to League One for the first time since 1999 and will re-enter it packed with clubs perhaps ‘too big for the division’. Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers have already been confirmed to be joining The Imps, having been relegated from the Championship. Sunderland, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth may all still be in League One. All three have played in the Premier League in recent memory.
Therefore, their status as ‘underdogs’ from the FA Cup two seasons ago may be reinstated. It could be a blessing in disguise for Lincoln City. Speaking to Lincolnshire Live, Danny Cowley said he has “always been the underdog” and that being the underdog “will suit him just fine”. Being the underdog could be what the Imps thrive off of, and it could lead to another fairytale season.