David Holdsworth's hard road forward at Lincoln City

By Michael HortinBBC Lincolnshire sports editor
David Holdsworth
Holdsworth has been appointed Lincoln boss to the end of the season

New managers rarely inherit a team that is doing well, but in the case of Lincoln City David Holdsworth has taken on a team that really is at its lowest ebb in many years.

On the pitch, City are in the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation places and for all the hard work of caretaker boss Grant Brown over recent weeks, they still look like a side needing a lot of work not to suffer a second successive relegation.

Off the pitch the club really needs to re-engage with its supporters. I meet many around the city who tell me they used to go and watch the Imps under Keith Alexander but now they go very rarely, if at all.

Dealing with issues on the pitch will be all the more difficult for Holdsworth as City's budget will at best be limited.

Speaking after the sacking of former manager Steve Tilson, Lincoln chairman Bob Dorrian made it clear that there was very little money available for signings, and looking ahead to next season there will be even less as the Imps get used to life in non-league football.

So what are realistic aims for Holdsworth this season and what will get an extension to his contract at the end of the campaign?

Simply put, anything above where they are in the table at the moment should be seen as success as another relegation really would be a catastrophe for Lincoln City.

Holdsworth's track record at Mansfield suggests that he should be able to achieve that, as he appears to have a good knowledge of Conference football.

The only difference will be that, unlike at Mansfield, as things stand he won't have the resources to make major changes to the squad in the way he did at Field Mill.

In his first interview with BBC Lincolnshire, Holdsworth said the Imps 'need to show supporters what we're about', and re-engage with the fanbase.

For some Lincoln city fans that would probably be enough. As one fan said to me recently, "I used to enjoy going to watch Lincoln City. Now I don't".

People should be in no doubt that David Holdsworth has a major job to do at Lincoln City if he is to reverse years of under-achievement and poor decision-making since Alexander was in charge.

Imps fans will just hope that Holdsworth's appointment marks the beginning of a fightback from the club as it starts on the long road back to the Football League.

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