Gareth Ainsworth scores past Southampton keeper Chris Woods during the Imps

Sports: Pictures and memories from Gareth Ainsworth’s Lincoln City career

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Lincoln City legend Gareth Ainsworth has emerged a stronger contender for the Lincoln City manager’s job.

The Wycombe Wanderers manager was quickly installed as one of the favourites following the Cowleys’ decision to join Huddersfield Town.

Now, in an interview with the Totally Football League Show, Ainsworth has indicated he would be interested in talking to the Imps about the manager’s role at Sincil Bank.

“I know that there’s plenty of interest and rumours and I think Wycombe would be open to letting me have a chat with people,” he said.

Ainsworth became a cult figure with Imps supporters during his two-year spell as a player during the mid-1990s.

Having been signed from Preston North End by John Beck with the Imps entrenched in a relegation battle early in the 1995/96 season, Ainsworth’s inspirational displays on the wing were instrumental as City comfortably avoided relegation.

He was a key man again the following season as the Imps went on a memorable run in the League Cup, beating Manchester City home and away and then taking Southampton to a replay after holding the top-flight side, which included Matt Le Tissier, to a 2-2 draw at The Dell.

Ainsworth scored in the first leg against Man City and in both games against Southampton.

He almost helped City secure a play-off place, although their top-seven hopes were dashed by a final-day defeat to Rochdale.

Unsurprisingly, Ainsworth’s displays attracted attention from higher-league clubs and he left for Port Vale, then in the second tier, for £500,000 early in the 1997/98 season before going on to play for Wimbledon in the Premier League.

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