Who will follow the Cowleys? Eight potential candidates for the Lincoln City manager's job

Sports: Who will follow the Cowleys? Eight potential candidates for the Lincoln City manager’s job

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Lincoln City are looking for a new management team after the Cowleys’ left for Huddersfield Town after three success-laden years at Sincil Bank.

Whoever steps into the breach has big shoes to fill, although the job is certainly an attractive one, with the Imps flying high in League One.

Having pocketed a healthy compensation fee, the Imps would be in a position to entice a manager from another club.

We look at some potential candidates

Michael Flynn (Newport County)

Newport County manager Michael Flynn
Newport County manager Michael Flynn
(Image: Getty Images)


He has done an incredible job with the Exiles after initially replacing the sacked Graham Westley as caretaker boss in March 2017.

Newport were staring relegation to non-league in the face, but Flynn turned their fortunes around, keeping the club in the Football League.

With a meagre budget, Flynn led County to the play-offs last season, dumping out big-spending Mansfield Town in the semi-finals before losing to Tranmere Rovers in the final.

Another tick in the box is his cup pedigree. Flynn led County to the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1979 in 2018, beating Leeds United on the way.

They were eventually put out by Tottenham, but only after taking the Premier League giants to the replay at Wembley.

Flynn was up for the cup again last season, putting out Leicester City and Middlesbrough on the way to the fifth round.

Their stunning run was only ended by Manchester City, although the Exiles put up a good fight against Pep Guardiola’s side, losing 4-1.

Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe Wanderers)

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth
(Image: CameraSport – Andrew Vaughan)


Given the esteem he is still held in by Lincoln fans, this would be an emotional appointment.

But, putting his legendary status at Sincil Bank to one side, he would also be a strong candidate.

Ainsworth, who remains fond of the Imps, is approaching seven years in the hot-seat at Adams Park and has done a superb job with limited resources.

He kept the Chairboys in the Football League in 2013/14 after a final day victory at Torquay United.

The following season he led Wycombe to the League Two play-off final, where they lost to Southend United on penalties at Wembley.

Ainsworth guided Wycombe to automatic promotion in 2017/18 and, despite flirting with relegation, they retained their League One status last season.


Jamie McCombe (Imps coach)

Jamie McCombe
Jamie McCombe
(Image: CameraSport – Chris Vaughan)


The former defender, who has been played in caretaker charge along with Andy Warrington, has been working as coach under the Cowleys for most of their tenure and is their eyes in the stand at home games.

Having played as high as the Championship, he has played under some excellent managers.

His appointment would represent some continuity.

Kevin Nolan

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan in his technical area at Sincil Bank
Notts County manager Kevin Nolan in his technical area at Sincil Bank
(Image: Andrew Vaughan/CameraSport)


After a brief spell in charge of Leyton Orient, Nolan’s managerial career really started at Notts County, where he was appointed in early 2017.

He steered the Magpies to safety that season before leading Notts to the League Two play-offs the following season.

Hopes were high the following the season, but a slow start, culminating in a 3-1 defeat at Sincil Bank, saw him sacked before the end of August.

Nolan is believe to be interested in the post as well.

Gary Rowett

Gary Rowett
Gary Rowett
(Image: Getty Images)


Rowett is more accustomed to managing in the Championship, but after being sacked by Stoke City midway through last season he may be willing to kick-start his career in League One.

Rowett started off in management at Burton Albion, then of League Two, leading the Brewers to the play-offs three times.

He was snapped up by Birmingham City and did a commendable job at St Andrews before being sacked with the Blues seventh in the Championship following a change of ownership.

Rowett took over at former club Derby in March 2017 and the following season led them to the play-offs.

It was therefore a surprise when he left for Stoke shortly after their semi-final defeat to Fulham.

His spell with the Potters didn’t work out and he was sacked after a poor run of results in January 2019.

Phil Parkinson

Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson
(Image: PA)


Parkinson is on the market after leaving crisis-torn Bolton earlier this season.

He did an outstanding job amid incredibly trying circumstances at the University of Bolton Stadium, leading the Potters back to Championship in 2017.

He also did a stellar job at Bradford City, who incredibly reached the League Cup final as a League Two club in 2013.

The Bantams also won promotion to League One via the play-offs in the same season.

Sol Campbell

Sol Campbell
Sol Campbell
(Image: CameraSport – Chris Vaughan)


The former Arsenal, Tottenham and England defender is out of work after leaving Macclesfield Town by mutual consent last month.

In his first management role, Campbell did superbly to keep the Silkmen in the Football League last season and has done enough to earn another job.

Could that be with the Imps?

Nigel Adkins

Nigel Adkins
Nigel Adkins


The former goalkeeper and physio did a fantastic job at Scunthorpe United and Southampton, taking the Saints from League One to the Premier League.

He was sacked by both Reading and Sheffield United, but had done a good job at Hull City before deciding not to renew his contract in the summer.

Adkins was linked with the Huddersfield job before it went to the Cowleys.

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