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Fans gutted as Lincoln City announce managerial departure after victory

Fans have been left gutted as Lincoln City announce a managerial departure after their victory against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

Michael Appleton’s reign comes to an end with a statement coming just minutes after the Imps’ 2-1 win over on the final day of what has been a tough campaign on and off the pitch for a number of reasons.

The former Oxford United manager guided Lincoln to a League One playoff final 12 months ago but this season hasn’t gone to plan, with the club hovering above the relegation zone.

Michael Appleton has left his role as Lincoln City manager following the conclusion of the 2021/22 season.

Michael oversaw close to 150 competitive games in charge of City, including leading the Imps to last season’s Sky Bet League One play-off final.

He said: “It has been a privilege to manage Lincoln City over the past three seasons. While this season did not match the highs of the last, we have still had some memorable performances and results.

“Clive Nates and the board, the players and all the staff throughout the club, have been fantastic colleagues over the past three years and I thank them all for their backing. I am sure they will continue to drive the club forward on and off the pitch with some really impressive foundations in place for the coming years.

“I would like to thank all of the supporters who have got behind me and the team. Lincoln City is a special club which will always be close to my heart.”

City chairman Clive Nates added: “Everyone at the club is grateful for Michael’s contribution as manager, none of us will forget last season and the run to the play-off final which so nearly saw us reach the second tier for the first time in 60 years.

“Michael has played a big role in our continued growth on and off the pitch since joining us, helping to build a squad with real potential including players from our Academy.

“I have enjoyed every opportunity to spend time with Michael, although it has been limited due to travel restrictions during Covid. He is a great person, straight talking and very knowledgeable about the game.

“During our conversations over the past few weeks, it became abundantly clear to us both that this summer was a good time for him to look for a challenge elsewhere and for us to find someone to build on his work over the past three years. There was no fallout and no need for either side to make the decision for the other. He leaves with our total respect, our best wishes and an open invitation to visit the LNER Stadium at any time in future.”

Michael Appleton began the season recovering from testicular cancer treatment and ends it urging men to check themselves regularly as the curtain comes down on Testicular Cancer Awareness Month.

“It wasn’t until the season had finished that it became sort of more aggressive,” the ex-Manchester United, Preston and West Brom midfielder told the PA news agency.

“What I mean by more aggressive is that during the play-offs and certainly second half of last season especially I knew that there was an issue there and something wasn’t quite right.

“But it wasn’t until the season had finished or coming towards the end of the season where things started to change and I started to notice and feel a lump.

“That’s when I knew I had to sort of go and get something done about it.”

“I felt lucky that I was able to pick it up quickly, which obviously clearly has helped in terms of dealing with the issue and trying to get over it much quicker,” Appleton said.

“Still today, obviously I’m on constant surveillance every couple of months and having to visit Christie’s and go through the scans and having my bloods done on a regular basis.

“But I’ve not found myself one of the unluckier ones, who took longer to recognise that there was an issue and not get it seen to, not addressing it.

“Then obviously on the back of that what happens is it’s more difficult to deal with or more difficult to treat going forward.”

“Clearly there’s a little bit of a stigma about it and almost I would say some degree of embarrassment, I suppose, with some guys,” he said ahead of the Lincoln’s season ending on the same day as Testicular Cancer Awareness Month.

“Especially sports people. We can be very macho people and sometimes you’ve got to sort of break down those barriers.

“The reality is to try, especially this month more than others, to raise awareness that guys should – and especially young guys – be checking themselves regularly.

“If they feel anything sort of different or pain, have the courage to go and speak to their GP.

“There’s obviously various websites, like Movember’s Nuts and Bolts, where you can easily go to get as much advice as you possibly can. Any questions that need answering, that would certainly help.

“I think from my point of view it’s about talking. Whether it’s to your partner, your friends, your colleagues, whatever it may be.

“Sometimes that might be the first port of call before you feel confident enough to go to your GP.”

As mentioned, fans have been left gutted as Lincoln City announce managerial departure after their victory against Crewe…

@lucalcfc: Shocking. Best manager we could ask for. Thank you for everything! Top top gaffer

@Robbeezley: Thank you Michael, like all fans we weren’t happy when losing but you’ve defo done good for us as well so I wish you well 👏

@PaulCarrott3: I really hope that was Michael’s decision and not ours. Massive blow for @LincolnCity_FC

@Jamesbenno7: Got a feeling that in 12months we might regret this decision. Top coach/manger but unfortunately injuries and players not working out have cost him. I would still have kept him as we’ve seen when he gets it right it really is something! Thank you MA for 3yrs

@nicktparker: Thanks to Michael Appleton for all that you’ve done for our club. There have been highs and lows but I really appreciate all your efforts to get us to the brink of the championship and to keep us in the 3rd tier for the longest period in my lifetime. All the best for your future.

@jackreed14: Michael, thank you for everything you have done! Shame to see you go sooner rather than later but wishing you all the best in your new adventures! #impsasone

@impyblue: Thanks Michael you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. You deserve better

@SamComins1: Good Luck Michael. You got us so close to the championship and we’ll never forget that. Yes this season was a struggle but our league on status is assured for next season so we thank you for that. Good luck on your next challenge. UTI.

@redimps76: Be careful what you wish for. He has done a great job on a limited budget.

@GeorgeBassUK: Gutted, we’ve played some of the best football I’ve ever seen in the red and white, particularly last season. Thanks for the memories Michael and best of luck in the future!

@mitson16: Very shocked all the best to him but we need to move forward and we need to get a experience league one or championship manager. We move on #ImpsAsOne

@smee1966: That’s a bit of a shock. Felt the time was right with D&N but feels a bit early for this and we could have kicked on next season. Wish MA and his family all the best. Wont be surprised if he goes to a club with a bigger budget to build a team with. 🔴⚪

@kazziehuddy: Honestly gutted but thanks for all you have done and all the best in the future

@churchybabes: Nooooo, I didn’t want the rumours to be true. I’ve always supported him and I for one will miss him. Thank you Michael and good luck for the future

@maharby: There will be those on here applauding this, I think you need to be really careful what you wish for. Remember if it wasn’t for Michael’s reputation we wouldn’t have seen the likes of Brennon Johnson in a City shirt. This is not a good thing 😧🔴⚪️🔴⚪️

@JordanWTFane07: I think people have underestimated how hard it is for smaller clubs after an unsuccessful playoff campaign, just look at what’s happened to Barnsley, we may not have made the progress wanted, but staying in the league is still a success and a lot of that is down to Appleton

@Charli321: I’m gutted by this. To all the haters, be careful what you wish for. #ImpsAsOne #ThankYouMichael

@NGlliver: Damn shocked. Let’s hope we get someone actually good in and not just fall into the same traps most league 1 clubs do

@harte_sam: In shock, all the best! Last season is a great memory ❤️

@andyhelson: Just seen this. Gutted, properly gutted. Big 🍎 was the person to take us forward. Some of the best performances I’ve seen at the Bank.

@jordbrown96: He can leave with his held high. Divided opinion among the fan base at times, but to get us one game from the Championship and giving us memorable wins against huge clubs, while battling a horrendous injury crisis, is something he can be proud of. Best of luck, Michael 👏🏼🔴

@happinessjohn83: In shock!! Surprised and very disappointed but good luck for the future Michael.

@adamf_99: Can’t believe this. No words 😔🔴⚪️

@WillStacey14: Gutted doesn’t describe it, thank you Appleton for everything you did! Sean Dyche will now take the wheel and guide us to the promise land

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