Exclusive: Cowley on the busy window, strengthened Magpies and a happy reunion


Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley has expressed his delight at the return of former Imp, Lee Angol. The 24-year-old forward signed late on deadline day, on loan from League One side Shrewsbury Town.

Angol scored 6 goals in 13 appearances for Lincoln at the end of the 2016-17 season to help them win the National League. And Cowley knows how much of a help he will be in the closing stages of the season once more.

Cowley on Angol return

The signing of Lee did, unfortunately, cause some unrest amongst fans. As they were unhappy with what happened after his loan had ended.

The Imps made an attempt to bring in the attacker on a permanent deal in the summer. But Angol joined League Two rivals Mansfield Town instead, for what was no doubt a bigger deal.

However, both Cowley and the player himself explained what happened, and how it was out of their control. As Angol admitted he wanted to join Lincoln at the time, and regrets that he didn’t.

On the situation, Cowley said:

“It’s difficult for Lee to talk about, I probably shouldn’t talk about it because I’ll probably get in trouble. But the reality was, we wanted to sign Lee, he did a fantastic job for us on loan.

“Unfortunately, Mansfield blew us out the water, and put in a 300 grand bid to Peterborough. Which they accepted really quickly, then from there, we were no longer really an option for Lee. So if it was a footballing decision, he probably would’ve chose us.”

On having him back at the Bank, he said:

“We know what talent he’s got. He gives us real tactical flexibility, because he can play up there as a sole forward. He can also play as a first forward off Jon Akinde, or as a channel-running forward off of Matt Rhead.

“We got the best out of him last time around, and he played a big part in helping us get promoted. And we’re hoping he’ll do the same this time.”

Angol will hope his second Imps debut goes as well as the first. With the striker bagging a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Braintree Town, in what Danny described as their best performance of the season.

Cowley on the transfer window

As well as bringing in Lee Angol, Lincoln also secured the services of experienced keeper Matt Gilks from Scunthorpe United. The former Premier League shot-stopper joined on a free transfer after playing a key part in the Iron’s 2017-18 campaign.

And Cowley believes that Gilks and the six other January signings will prove pivotal come the end of the season. As the Imps completed a total of 2 permanent transfers and 5 loan deals.

On the signing of Gilks, Cowley said:

“To bring someone in of Matt’s experience, he’s been there, seen it and done it. He’s played at every level, as well as internationally for Scotland.

“He’ll be a fantastic character both on and off the pitch, so it’s a really good signing for the football club. He’s one of those that gets that extra five percent out of the players around them.”

On the transfer window as a whole, he said:

“If you look at the players that we’ve brought in, we are in a significantly better place. You’ve got to make the comparisons to see how far we’ve come during this window.

“It now equips us for the last 17 games. I think the objective throughout this window has been to look at areas and possible things that might stop us from getting promoted. And I think that we’ve been able to do that.”

Cowley on Notts County

This Saturday sees Lincoln on the road again. Travelling to Meadow Lane to face struggling Notts County, who have picked up just 9 points from the last 51 on offer. This form has seen them cut adrift at the bottom, with them now being a massive 8 points from safety.

However, Danny Cowley believes the Magpies’ busy end to the transfer window means they will be at their strongest yet. He also pointed out that the two points that they have picked up recently, have been against fellow high-flyers.

On their business, he said:

“It’s always difficult to do oppositional analysis in the January transfer window, because things can change. And they (County) have been very active. We’ll play against the very best Notts County team that anybody has played against this season, that’s for sure.

“I think they’ve brought in real experience down the spine of their team. And they’ll have a real grit and determination about them, which will help to get the best out of the players in and around their group.”

On County’s situation, Cowley said:

“After tomorrow, we would like to see an upturn in Notts County’s results. They’re a great football club, steeped in tradition, and the Football League is certainly better for them being in it.

“However, all of our focus is on us, and trying to make sure that we keep performing to the levels that we have been.”